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.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Mariya Takeuchi -- Camouflage (カムフラージュ)

Since the mid-80s, Mariya Takeuchi (竹内まりや)has been pretty content to go along with a contemporary pop sound after her early years of US bobbysoxer 50s/disco. If I were to make up a name for the sub-genre that she has mostly inhabited, it would be Neighbourhood Cafe Pop...the corner coffee place would be ideal to listen to some of those softly, softly ballads of hers with a mug of joe...or some chamomile tea might be even better.

One example would be "Camouflage", her hit from 1998 and the theme song for the Fuji-TV mystery drama, "Nemureru Mori"(眠れる森...The Sleeping Forest)starring Miho Nakayama and Takuya Kimura(中山美穂・木村拓哉). Written and composed by the singer herself, this song scored a couple of firsts. One was that it was the first Takeuchi song that featured its own music video....I remember the rarely-seen-on-TV Mariya traipsing through the forest in it. Another first was something that I couldn't quite believe in that "Camouflage" was the very first single by the singer to hit No. 1 on Oricon, something that she couldn't attain despite the fact that she had been in the business up to that point for almost 20 years. The closest she got up to that point was "Single Again" at No. 2 almost a decade earlier.

Released in November 1998, Takeuchi's 27th single would end up as the 64th-ranked song for 1999, and become a track on her 9th album, "Bon Appetit!" which came out in August 2001. That album also hit the top spot and would later become the 18th-ranked album.

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