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.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Nana Tanimura -- JUNGLE DANCE

Nana Tanimura (谷村奈南) is a gravure model-turned-into-singer from Avex who was mildly popular in the late 00s. Unfortunately, she was more well known because of her sexy body, while the talent was probably considered something secondary (she’s a good singer, though). From her not very big discography, “JUNGLE DANCE” was a song I listened to a lot during my college years.

With all the respect I have for Nana Tanimura, I’ll not even try to defend “JUNGLE DANCE”... because I’m counsious of its dubious quality. Not only, I confess that I only listened to it – and watched the video, of course – due to the wrong reasons (she’s pure fire in the video). In my defense, though, I was just a young man at the time.

“JUNGLE DANCE’s” Latin sound is not bad per se, and I truly like Nana Tanimura’s voice (she has much better songs, by the way), but there’s probably nothing more I can talk about the song in a positive way. Other than that, I agree it’s disposable pop with some R&B touches, which was something common in Japan when the song was released back in May 2008 (Jennifer Lopez would be more than happy to record “JUNGLE DANCE” and “SEXY SENORITA”, another Latin-inspired song released by Nana).

Unfortunately for Nana Tanimura, R&B was declining in the Japanese mainstream media and a new era of cute aidoru groups was borning. Based on that, her in-your-face sexy image, alongside her American-inspired dance songs, weren’t going to take her anywhere in the Japanese music industry.

After the release of a compilation called “NANA BEST” in 2011, she disappeared from public eye (at least in the music scene), but made a return earlier this year with a solid digital single called “DESTINY STAR”. In the end, it was good to hear her voice again (her debut single, the R&B ballad “Again”, is a good example of her talent), so I hope she makes a full come back later.

“JUNGLE DANCE” reached #15 on the Oricon charts, selling 28,302 copies. Lyrics were written by Nana Tanimura herself, while music and arrangement were done by PJ and Lee Jong Hoon.


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