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.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Kiyoshi Maekawa & Cool Five -- Kanashii Machi sa ~TOKYO~ (悲しい街さ~TOKYO~)

Well, this week's "Kayo Concert" was... weird. As J-Canuck mentioned in the "Aux Champs-Élysées" (オー・シャンゼリゼ) article, the theme brought Japanese and Western songs to the Osaka stage, and I'd say his description of it was quite apt. One segment in particular had the pretty Keisuke Yamauchi (山内恵介) and Ai Takahashi (高橋愛) doing a medley of just that. It started off alright but then came a wedding dress, fir trees, monkeys, a car, a baseball jersey over a ronin outfit... The medley's finale had all that plus a backdrop of a chapel, people in old English/French wear to form a collage of chaos. Needless to say I was mostly speechless save for a, "This is getting weirder and weirder" to Dad. Didn't really help that I was in need of sleep after an early day. All I wanted was more Mae-Kiyo and his four cronies making takoyaki. Yup, interesting episode there.

While Kiyoshi Maekawa performs with the remaining, original members of the Cool Five during their own concerts, they don't come together often on TV so I was very glad to see the whole (sort of) gang singing their hit "Nakanoshima Blues" (中の島ブルース) outdoors in trench coats in Nakanoshima, Osaka, even though Mae-Kiyo's delivery was lacking that night; his voice isn't as strong as it used to be. But anyway, as I said this was one of the rare times when the Cool Five is actually five, so I was kinda hoping that they'd sing some other past hit like "Saikai Blues" (西海ブルース) or something a little more recent like "Kanashii Machi sa ~TOKYO~", which I will be talking about today.

Released on 19th December 2007, "Kanashii Machi sa ~TOKYO~" was the 1st original single that the Cool Five had came up with after reuniting in late 2006, almost a couple of decades since they split, when former leader, Hiroshi Uchiyamada (内山田洋), had passed away. From there Maekawa took over the reigns as leader and the group became "Kiyoshi Maekawa & Cool Five" (前川清&クール・ファイブ). The song peaked at 117th place on the Oricon charts.

With Shino Kinoshita (木下詩野) doing the lyrics and Takashi Tsushimi (都志見隆) the melody, I'd say "Kanashii Machi sa" is your typical jazz Mood Kayo about the metropolitan Tokyo with a nice pace and a nice touch of forlorn with the saxophone and Mae-Kiyo's intense vocals. It's also quite nostalgic-sounding. Of course, the best part was to hear that familiar "Wa, wa, wa, wa" chiming in from the Cool Five.

To wrap up, here are the names of the four other members of the group with description:

Etsuro Miyamoto (宮本悦朗); one of the two with glasses, big round head that's balding on top since the beginning of time while long hair grows at the back of his head. Plays the keyboard.

Masaki Kobayashi (小林正樹); my favourite and most stylish out of the four, wears a constant scowl on his face, braided one tiny bit of his long hair, may wear a hat. From what I've been seeing, it seems like Mae-Kiyo is most pal-ly with him as well as Miyamoto. Plays the bass guitar.

Shigemi Iwaki (岩城茂美); was once considered the good-looking one back in the 70's, the other one with glasses and has a full head of hair albeit receding. Plays the flute and sax.

Shigeru Morimoto (森本繁); the most normal looking out of the four and I had trouble recognizing him when I started listening to the Cool Five, may wear glasses. Plays the drums.

P.S. There's this old comment on the "Kanashii Machi sa" MV left by someone called MariaLisseth. She said that the Cool Five and Maekawa "look really handsome". Couldn't agree with you more ma'am... Especially Mae-Kiyo. :)  

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Noelle.

    As to your point about Maekawa and the Cool Five looking handsome, there's nothing like a well-fitting tuxedo to amp up the coolness factor! :)

    I really like "Kanashii Machi sa - Tokyo". The Mood Kayo is so mellow that it can almost fall into the AOR category. And even though all of the usual Mood Kayo tropes are in there, it does sound quite contemporary.


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