I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Monday, January 27, 2014

PSY-S -- Keshiki (景色)

One of my favourite songs by the 80s technopop duo, PSY-S, happens to be "Keshiki" (Scene). It was never released as a single by the band, but I think in its subtle way, it has made me think about married life.

In any case, the above is the original version from PSY-S' first album, "Different View" from 1985. Since I have yet to get this album, I never heard this version before. It's a straight-ahead technopop piece with CHAKA jumping right into the vocals (both the words and music were provided by her partner, Masaya Matsuura/松浦雅也) about what seems to be the ideal life between husband and wife in that apartment or prefab house. However, as the song progresses, things get a little more sinister especially when she starts singing about hubby bleating out the daily chores in a robotic way in both English and Japanese. Trouble in paradise....or boredom?

A new and better version of "Keshiki" was released on PSY-S BEST album, "Two Hearts" in 1991. This is the version that I've been familiar with for years, and perhaps there is a bias from me since my ears have become more accustomed to this take. However, the melody is richer and more varied, and therefore better illustrates the crumbling of the ideal wedded bliss. Matsuura, through his synths, starts off with a classical-sounding riff...perhaps to have the listener imagine the wife seeing off her rushing husband at the door, before the music goes into this warm soft bossa style and then into a roller-coaster-like rise to the robotic delivery by CHAKA. And finally, the song seems to want to illustrate an entire world crumbling down through the dissonance that Matsuura throws in. The original sounds like a beta version in comparison. And although I love CHAKA's voice, I think having her la-la-la's in that 1985 take replaced by the warning synth in the 1991 version was an improvement.

I'm happy that "Keshiki" got its due in "Two Hearts" but perhaps it could have used a bit more representation. Then again, perhaps PSY-S didn't want to make too many couples in the audience too uncomfortable (heh, heh).


  1. Hi J-Canuck.

    I'm a big fan of the "Different View" album since Jari posted about "Teenage" last year. And "Keshiki" was surely a highlight. As I'm far from understanding lyrics in Japanese, I could never tell what the song was about. It's nice to know it's about married life.

    Also, different from you, I wasn't aware of a "new version" of this song. Although I'm more accustomed with the original, the "new version" is really more interesting. I really loved it. Like you said, it's richer in the arrangement. The original surely had a more raw sound. So thanks a lot for introducing me to it.

    1. Yeah, I was kinda surprised that the new version (or even the old one) didn't quite make it onto the 2-disc BEST album or even any of the concert discs, so "Two Hearts" is probably the only source for it. A pity.


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