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.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Kiyoshi Maekawa -- Hanabi (花美~はなび~)

I shall be starting off the new year with none other than Kiyoshi Maekawa (前川清) and the song of choice is "Hanabi" - looks like there's some word play going on in the title.

When I got to see those responsible for putting "Hanabi" together in the MV's description, rather than the familiar names of the songwriters who usually work on Mae-Kiyo's songs like Toyohisa Araki (荒木とよひさ), I read instead that the kayo crooner's own son, Hiroki (紘毅), had done both the writing and composing. At that point I could guess that "Hanabi" wasn't going to be anything close to Mood Kayo, let alone enka. Judging from Maekawa Jr.'s ikemen-like style on an episode of "Inaka ni Tomaro!" (田舎に泊まろう!) - a show where some celebrity gets dropped in some random countryside town and he/she has to find a local's home to stay in for the night - he didn't look like he'd be into what Maekawa Sr. specializes in.

(cover version)

To be frank, I was skeptical as to what Hiroki would come up with (Noelle from 4/1/2016: To be more specific, I was skeptical of Hiroki's songwriting ability. Should've been clearer on that.), especially with his pop's previous single being written by a venerable figure in enka, but it turned out alright when listening to the pleasant and laid-back pop melody upon taking a look at the MV. Together with the lyrics, "Hanabi" feels like a very hopeful song. I do enjoy it and it's nice to see the once disapproving father collaborating with his son - Mae-Kiyo was against Hiroki's decision to enter the music business. However, I don't think I'd consider it to be one of my favourite Mae-Kiyo songs. Also, from the number of times I've seen "Hanabi" being performed on the "Kayo Concert" and "Nippon no Uta" stage, I find that Maekawa Sr. tends to have a tougher time singing this tune.

Anyway, "Hanabi" was released on 17th September 2014 and it peaked at 100th place on the Oricon charts.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Noelle.

    There's quite a bit of nostalgia generated when I listen to "Hanabi". Although the arrangement is contemporary, I think it could also have been something from the 90s (a la Spitz) and even farther back in the 1970s.

    "Hanabi" is a pop song through-and-through, but with Maekawa's vocal training in Mood Kayo and enka, the singer could be bridging that gap among the three genres much in the way that singers like Takao Horiuchi have.


Feel free to provide any comments (pro or con). Just be civil about it.