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, July 26, 2015

EPO -- Asphalt/Hitori (アスファルト・ひとり)


"I love the nightlife, I love to boogie..."

Yep, good ol' Alicia Bridges with "I Love The Nightlife". I used to hear this song all the time on those K-Tel disco record commercials on TV. And it's what I get reminded of when I listen to EPO's "Asphalt/Hitori".

The song is a track on EPO's debut album, "Downtown" which has the famous title track and another EPO favourite, "Nichiyou wa Bell ga Naru Mae ni "(日曜はベルが鳴る前に). The singer-songwriter was behind the lyrics and music, but it almost sounds like someone else's prototypical City Pop melody grafted onto EPO's lyrics. Perhaps it might be difficult for someone who is not well versed in the singer's discography to understand, but although I've always regarded her as one of the princesses of City Pop, there was a certain EPO whimsy inserted that set her creations apart from the usual urban contemporary melody. However, this song is straight into discoville. Not that I have anything against it all; I do enjoy it but it just seems different.

As I was reading the liner notes for "Downtown" the album, EPO gave her thoughts on each of the tracks, and for "Asphalt/Hitori" (Asphalt/Alone), she said that she based the song on a true incident in her high school life (which would probably have been a few years before the release of the album) when her boyfriend at that time had to suddenly head off back to Osaka for several months with the teenaged Eiko Sato(佐藤榮子)mulling over those complicated emotions of being left alone. However, with the disco feeling of the song, I think the protagonist was probably fully into her twenties. Well, she can always follow Alicia's advice and hit the dance floor. And to be honest, considering the idea behind the song, it really sounds quite celebratory.

The streets of West Shinjuku.
When I think of EPO, I always think of here.

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