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.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Kiyoshi Maekawa & Sayuri Ishikawa -- Aiyo Shizuka ni Nemure (愛よ静かに眠れ)

For some unknown reason I used to have this peculiar aversion to duets, especially if it was between a male and female singer. Probably because I couldn't appreciate it? Or because I didn't have a good impression of it? Either way, I just didn't like it. So what made me decide to listen to a duet between my favorite En-kayo crooner and a then undiscovered (to me) Enka singer? Actually I have no idea too, I'm just strange in that sense.

It was an interesting song, 'Aiyo Shizuka ni Nemure' and it allowed me to view such duets from a whole different angle. That being just looking at it/listening to it makes it a bore. But if you were to delve deeper into it and 'feel' it, it wouldn't be so flat... ... Oh boy, that there was the artsy side of me trying to explain things, so I wouldn't blame you if you don't get it... that happens quite a lot.

The music with a pretty bold arrangement (by Takashi Tsushimi (都志見隆)) gave the song an overall sense of passion. For the lyrics (by Toyohisa Araki (荒木とよひさ)), I remember asking fellow blogger J-Canuck about its meaning when I shared this song with him a while ago when I was still a commenter. Although rather obscure, its something on the line of how love can be so good, and yet can be such a pain. So those two combined with Kiyoshi Maekawa's (前川清) deep rumble complimenting Sayuri Ishikawa's (石川さゆり ) smooth and not too high-pitched delivery, it makes a pretty good song to listen to while out on the town at night (it just gives me that particular feel).

Anyway, released on 21st August 2013, this was one of the songs for the 'Teichiku Entertainment 80th anniversary duet festival' (wow, that's a mouthful). So you have En-kayo singers from this entertainment company, like Ishikawa and Mae-Kiyo, singing duets... others include George Yamamoto and Sanae Jonouchi (山本譲二 . 城之内早苗) etc.

The video above is a live performance of this song. From the looks of it, it's from the episode of NHK's 'Nippon no uta' that I missed by a week. One thing that you would notice in this performance is that Maekawa was actually moving along to the song. I would say it's a rarity, but he usually isn't that stiff when performing with others as I have observed.

To end off, I'd like to share a little fun fact: You see that grey suit with black shirt Mae-Kiyo wore? That gave me an idea on what to wear for the last lesson for one of my compulsory modules in the first semester of college 2 months ago, where we had to do a formal presentation. Ruling out the sneakers, I got some good comments on the suit. Hah! So drawing dressing inspiration from old singers does pay off! Although I have to admit, wearing a suit for the first time wasn't the most comfortable of experiences... ...


  1. Hi, Noelle.

    Thanks for putting up this duet with Maekawa and Ishikawa. I remember us talking about this song. I found the urban contemporary arrangement gave an extra layer to "Aiyo" wonders if J-R&B singer Masayuki Suzuki would like to give it a shot one day.

    I'm not sure if you also picked up on it, but I thought when Maekawa was singing the refrain with Ishikawa, he sounded somewhat like veteran Akiko Wada in the way he was enunciating the lyrics.

    Gotta love a fine-fitting suit....except during a Japanese summer. Thank the heavens for Cool Biz.

  2. Hi J-Canuck,

    Now that you mention it, Maekawa does sound a little like Wada - the way he sings... not too sure about lyric enunciation because I don't listen to Wada that much.

    Oh hang on, I remember watching a performance between Maekawa and Wada... they sung Happy & Blue's 'Hoshi furu no machi kado'. For that they sound really similar! And when I said that Maekawa moves more when singing with others, this one takes it to a whole... different (to say the least) level. You can check it out in the link below:


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