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, March 25, 2016

Kiyoshi Maekawa -- Miyako Kaze (都風)

Though I'm not broken up about having no more "Kayo Concert", I can't say the same about having no more of Korokke's (コロッケ) musical and comedic skit show "Gokigen Kayo Shogekidan" (ごきげん歌謡笑劇団). It began in March 2012 and the final episode aired just last Thursday. Although the skits in the first half of the show, featuring the day's enka-yo singers and comedians, have taken a slightly more serious tone, I still enjoy seeing my favourite artistes in sometimes strange costumes doing the darnest things and Korokke doing his silly impressions while the rest of the actors stifle their laughs. Ah, I will miss it. Well, at least it ended off on a good note - for me, that is - with Saburo Kitajima (北島三郎) and Kiyoshi Maekawa (前川清) as the guest singers.

While it was fun to see Mae-Kiyo in the role of a not very bad baddie, what I found myself looking forward to more was the last part of the show where the guests sing their new songs; in Maekawa's case, it was "Miyako Kaze". As usual, I was pretty excited and equally curious when I saw news on Twitter that the kayo crooner was going to release a new single on March 16th, even more so when the single's cover was released closer to date - had him looking rather spiffy in a dark blue suit with a sort of worried expression on his face... My first reaction upon seeing that was, "I WANT IT." He looks good in that suit...

Eh, the blue suit's a lot better.

Cover picture aside, what piqued my interest was the title itself as it seemed like it could be one of Mae-Kiyo's more enka-sounding tunes or something more contemporary. Hearing it for the first time on a recent episode of "Nodojiman" proved that it was the latter, for that I'm glad. In fact, "Miyako Kaze" was an instant like the moment the music reached my ears, hence my anticipation to hear Mae-Kiyo sing it once again on Korokke's show.

Composed by Shin Tanimoto (谷本新), the combination of strings and the soft tinkling of the piano makes the ballad sound light and comfortable, and I find that the MV materializes what comes to mind when I listen to it - sun rays gently shining through the greenery as they sway in the wind. There is also the notes from the koto which brings out the enka side. And my favourite part of "Miyako Kaze" has to be the addition of the wonky electric guitar about halfway through; it reminds me of one of the songs by ASKA that I love, "Kaze no Inryoku" (風の引力), which has that same thing. As for the lyrics, musician Yoji Kubota (久保田洋司) took care of them and it seems to be about love lost.

"Miyako Kaze" did average on the charts, barely getting into the top 100 by peaking at 100th place. I was kind of expecting that though; Maekawa's less enka-y songs tend to not do as well. Well, but at least I'm a big fan of it.

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