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, July 21, 2016

Akiko Kosaka --Hohoende Ai (ほほえんで愛)

I knew that Akiko Kosaka's(小坂明子)career went far beyond her huge 70s pop hit, "Anata"(あなた), but I just didn't know what the career was shaped like. For me, my image had always been set on that young teenager behind the piano giving that heartrending and high-pitched ANATA!

Well, just by fortuitous happenstance, I found this song in the past several minutes. The YouTube video had the title of "Love Is Smiling" but when I checked out the album that is featured on the image freeze above at this site, "Again" from February 1983, I didn't see that English title but there was a track whose title was "Hohoende Ai" which is a pretty darn close translation.

"Again" was her 5th studio album, and it was actually her first album in 7 years so perhaps the album title was a proclamation of sorts that she was coming back with a new sound. And that new sound was quite J-AOR/City Pop with Kosaka's vocals sounding considerably more mellower and huskier. There was something quite Junko Yagami/Ami Ozaki(八神純子・尾崎亜美)about her delivery. Ironically, the other singer who I had sensed was something of a second Yagami in her early years, Miharu Koshi(コシミハル), was also undergoing some changes of her own in that same year into an avant-garde technopop ingenue.

Kosaka did write and compose the music for the happy-go-lucky "Hohoende Ai". I'm not sure how rare or plentiful "Again" is at this late date but I would certainly make a search for this new Kosaka.

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