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.

Monday, March 2, 2015

UA -- Kazoetarianai Yoru no Ashioto (数え足りない夜の足音)

I had collected enough of chanteuse UA's singles and one album that I decided to grab her 2003 DVD of her music clips titled "Illuminate - The Very Best Clips". Taking a look through the myriad videos, I definitely received the impression that the soulful Osaka singer liked the conceptual over the straight performance.

Case in point, there is the video for her 11th single from November 1998, "Kazoetarinai Yoru no Ashioto" (The Countless Sounds of Footsteps in the Night). Written and composed by UA, the video was certainly one to remember as the singer was dressed up in black as some sort of mysterious modern-night sprite quietly haunting the streets and expressways. Another reason that I remembered the video was that the song didn't fit into the Neo-Soul and Pop balladry that I had previously known her for. Instead, it was about as close to club music that I ever heard her sing, and I wonder if later cool singers such as bird and Yoshie Nakano of Ego-Wrappin' covered this one.

"Kazoetarinai Yoru no Ashioto" addresses the nuttiness of life through the meaningless words being bandied about and the tide of humanity that one has to often swim against. In the video, UA just seems to have isolated herself in her own very tiny timestream as she dances and walks the night away while the rest of the world literally speeds by (the video probably has some stylistic tribute to Madonna's "Ray of Light") and even looking at one irate driver who almost ran her down with nothing more than slight irritation. However, as soon as the first rays of sunrise peek through the horizon, the black pullover disappears and the formerly dark wraith fades off. Feel free to make your own philosophical insights.

The single went as high as No. 29 on Oricon and ended the year as the 272nd-ranked single of 1999. It was also a track on UA's 3rd album, "Turbo", which came out in October 1999. It did much better than the single by peaking at No. 6 and finishing at No. 135.

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