For the first time in a couple of decades, I decided to open up my lone Miho Morikawa（森川美穂）CD, "Pop The Top!" which was her 8th album from March 1991. Now, I bought this back in my Gunma days on the strength of the two theme songs she provided for the NHK anime, "Fushigi no Umi no Nadia". I liked the melody by Yoshimasa Inoue（井上ヨシマサ）and the spunk provided by Morikawa especially in "Blue Water".
I played the album...once. I don't remember the exact reasons why I only played it once but "not being particularly impressed" was probably the overarching factor. When I put the disc into the player earlier this afternoon, I gave the 48 minutes another chance. Each song had its own charms but listening to all of them together at one time soon had me reaching into the desk drawer where my stereo was perched and quickly skimming through the novelization of "Return of the Jedi" for the duration. That is also something that I hadn't done in decades.
Then I started searching whether any of the songs from the album ended up on YouTube or music163. A number of Morikawa's albums did show up on the latter site although "Pop The Top!" wasn't one of them, but I did find one of the tracks on the former. It was "Panic" which was written by the singer and composed by MOTHER'S RYTHM (that's how it was spelled in the liner notes). Listening to the song again, I realized that the song sounded great on its own, so I think what had me not liking the album all that much was just that there was too much of a sameness among the tracks; nothing really stood out.
For those folks like myself who listened to J-Pop back around that time in the 90s will pick up on the bouncy West Coast melodies and the synthesizers from that time. As I mentioned in the article for "Blue Water", I could pick out some Kahoru Kohiruimaki（小比類巻かほる）, Mariko Nagai（永井真理子）and even Ruriko Kuboh（久宝留理子）. And like those songstresses, Morikawa has some great pipes. As for the lyrics, the singer was relating about her shock (and perhaps envy and bitterness) on finding out that a former flame was tying the knot.
"Pop The Top!" reached as high at No.4 on Oricon. I may have to try a bit of reverse psychology with the album...perhaps listen to tracks such as "Panic" and "Because" (on music163) separately, appreciate them and then try the album as a whole again. It wouldn't be the only album that I would try that with.