Credits

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.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Especia -- Aventure wa Gin'iro ni (アバンチュールは銀色に)


I gotta say that Especia does have some pretty retro-slick videos. After falling for the charms for their "Kurukana"(くるかな)from their "GUSTO" album due to the 80s-style tribute to television signoffs and the City Poppy sound, I wanted to learn a bit more about this 21st-century aidoru group with a sound that has taken me back 2 or 3 decades. Then, I came across an earlier song, the catchy "Umibe no Sati"(海辺のサティ), and that was it. I needed to track down their discs.

So, thanks to the good folks at CD Japan, I was able to get a couple of them for Xmas. One was their maxi-single, "Midnight Confusion" (2013) which has "Umibe no Sati", and then their first full-fledged album, the aforementioned "GUSTO". I listened to both discs and a few of the new tunes stood out. One was "Aventure wa Gin'iro ni" (Adventure in Silver) from the latter album which was created by Maserati Nagisa(マセラティ渚), who also took care of "Kurukana".


The top YouTube video has the original version of "Aventure"....the coupling song to Especia's 2nd single, "YA-ME-TE!" from January 2014. As with "Kurukana", both the song and the video brought back some of the funky images and sounds from my high school days....the folks who were responsible for the video must have really done their homework for the visual effects of that time. The above music163 link has the version from "GUSTO" which has more of a late 80s/early 90s R&B beat somewhat reminiscent of CeCe Peniston, and is the one I prefer. 


As Marcos V. stated in the very first article for Especia, the girls' vocals aren't exactly supremely polished. However, I guess as someone who has been listening to unpolished aidoru for over 30 years, I don't particularly mind as long as the music has got a pretty darn good hook, and as a lot of you readers know, I never paid all that much attention to the lyrics until my reading ability began improving during my years in Japan. For me, it was fascinating enough to listen to these off-tune aidoru tackling a genre whose heyday was back in the late 70s and early 80s.

Considering those slick music videos, their live performances seem to go into the other direction. Sometimes, I've wondered if Especia invited their fans to come to the basement of one of the girls' houses (Coke and Pringles are complementary over there in the corner by the hot water heater!), and the group suddenly whipped up their choreography.

"GUSTO" was released back in May 2014 and peaked at No. 42 on the album charts, while the single "YA-ME-TE!" did a bit better by reaching No. 34.

Especia -- GUSTO
P.S. I think I'd be rather remiss if I didn't introduce the members of Especia.

Haruka Tominaga(冨永悠香)from Takarazuka City, Hyogo Prefecture
Chika Sannomiya(三ノ宮ちか)from Ikeda City, Metropolitan Osaka
Chihiro Mise(三瀬ちひろ)from Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture
Monari Wakita(脇田もなり)from the Goto Islands, Nagasaki Prefecture
Erika Mori(森絵莉加)from Uji City, Metropolitan Kyoto
Akane Sugimoto(杉本暁音)left in 2014

2 comments:

  1. Hi, J-Canuck.

    It’s great that you finally bought your copies of “GUSTO” and “Midnight Confusion”. I had planned to buy them in January, but I think I’ll wait until February (I ended buying some oldies in “Otokichi Premium” this month). The problem with February is that it will be very close to Especia’s major label debut, “PRIMERA”, which I also plan to buy (I’ll probably have to listen to it first).

    Anyway, “Aventure wa Gin’iro ni” is one of my favourites from the group. I remember that the single version was great, but I also prefer the “GUSTO ver.” with its irresistible piano house. The song is ridiculously groovy and pays a wonderful homage to late 80s/early 90s era in dance music very well.

    Also, “Aventure wa Gin’iro ni” is one of the very distinct songs offered by “GUSTO”. I must confess that, at first, I thought it was a very long album, making it difficult to be coherent and entertaining. However, the different styles blended very well representing varied styles of dance/R&B/retro music from the 80s. For example, we have plenty of songs built around the sax, such as “FOOLISH”, “BEHIND YOU”, “YA-ME-TE” and “Abyss”, a Madonna-esque dance-pop like “No1 Sweeper” (another standout), some slow jams (which are not simply ballads) like the amazing “BayBlues”, “Kurukana” and “L’elisir d’amore”, the house inspired “Adventure wa Gin’iro ni”, a frantic and mostly instrumental remix of the old “Umibe no sati” (I prefer the original with vocals), and even a Stock Aitken Waterman-inspired remix of “Midnight Confusion”. In the end, there’s something for everyone in “GUSTO”.

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    1. Yes, I think the producers and the band went really down to town on what they could achieve. "YA-ME-TE" was another fun track, and the video for "No. 1 Sweeper" just had me craving fresh salad for some reason!

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