Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Mieko Nishijima -- Go-Nen Me no Natsu （五年目の夏）
Well, I saw NHK News announce that the rainy season has ended in the Kanto area, so the truly dog days of summer have begun for Tokyo and vicinity, although temperatures have made the region plenty steamy for several days now.
So, time for a summer song...at least one with natsu in the title. I've chosen Mieko Nishijima's（西島三重子）"Go-Nen Me no Natsu" (The 5th Summer), a dramatic ballad about remembering a past romance. Written and composed by the singer-songwriter, this was from her April 1984 album, "Konna ni Tooku made Kiteshimatta"（こんなに遠くまで来てしまった...I've Ended Up Coming This Far）although I have it on her BEST album, "Yume no Hajimari..." （夢のはじまり...The Beginning of a Dream）from 1986. Compared to some of the sweetly swinging love songs that I've heard from Nishijima in the 70s, "Go-Nen Me no Natsu" has a more urban contemporary edge, and that wailing guitar that I love especially at the end almost takes things into City Pop territory although the lyrics focus solely on the lost relationship.
"Go-Nen Me no Natsu" also reminds me of the song that precedes it in "Yume no Hajimari...", "Self-Portrait" in that I keep imagining a sunset scene as both are playing. However, I think the former song seems to be a little less bitter in the lyrics. In any case, it's just as hard to find information on Nishijima as it is to track down her original albums, so I'm happy to have found a webpage that contains her discography.