Thursday, May 22, 2014
Tomoyo Harada -- Utakata no Koi （うたかたの恋）
I was preparing to tape a program for my parents when the NHK show, "SONGS" came on beforehand. The episode's guest was former 80s aidoru Tomoyo Harada（原田知世）, and she sang this rather quirky but appealing song titled "Utakata no Koi" (A Fleeting Love) (music by Goro Ito) which had me thinking of the early 80s music of Taeko Ohnuki （大貫妙子）and the output of Miki Nakatani （中谷美紀）with her collaboration with Ryuichi Sakamoto （坂本龍一）in the 90s.
"Utakata no Koi" has this skipping beat but also a hint of regret and darkness. Lyricist Harada seems to take on the figure of a fortune teller, warning her clients about the flightiness of love with the unnerving confidence of a pessimist who has seen it all. The picture of a severe-looking Harada on the cover of her latest album, "noon moon" (May 2014) and the prim high-toned delivery of a fairy-turned-old-fashioned schoolmarm pretty much convinces me that it is that persona behind this song. "Ignore me at your peril," is the message that she displays in that photo.
I took a listen to some of the other tracks on "noon moon" and it sounds like the album is one of soft pop songs for easy/introspective listening.