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.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Kana Hanazawa -- I♥New Day!

Dang! For a roly-poly girl panda, she sings pretty well. Yup, I still got Mei-Mei on the brain whenever I think of seiyuu Kana Hanazawa(花澤香菜)although I've seen her in a number of anime such as "Sasami-san@Ganbaranai"(ささみさん@がんばらない)and "Bodacious Space Pirates". And she has provided her singing voice in other anime productions as well such as "Shirokuma Cafe"(しろくまカフェ)and "Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin"(世紀末オカルト学院).

However, coming across her 3rd album from 2015 "Blue Avenue" which was released a number of months ago on YouTube, I was pretty darn impressed with the opening track " I♥New Day!". It has a mellow Sunday afternoon Smooth Jazz arrangement that I've rather missed since its appearance in Japanese pop music in the late 90s and early 00s. As soon as I heard the popping percussion in the intro, I automatically got reminded of an old Original Love number. And although I could imagine a songstress with a slightly more huskier delivery tackling " I♥New Day!", I also enjoyed the high-toned Hanazawa.

The lyrics were provided by Yuuho Iwasato(岩里祐穂)who has also written songs for Miki Imai(今井美樹)and provided an anison theme for one of my favourite shows in 2015, "Koufuku Graffiti"(幸腹グラフィティ). As for the melody, it was created by Katsutoshi Kitagawa(北川勝利), the bassist/guitarist/vocalist for the band Round Table which specializes in anime soundtracks.

"Blue Avenue" managed to peak at No. 12 on the Oricon album charts.

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