Since I follow Southern All Stars on Twitter, I've been seeing news of Keisuke Kuwata's (桑田佳祐)latest work. It did pique my interest, seeing promotional photos of the leader of SAS in a kimono posing with a paper fan in hand. That made me think, had Kei-chan done something kayo-based? Or maybe even... enka-based?! At that time it seemed like a faint possibility as the title, "Yoshiko-san", sounded like what your typical enka ballad would be called. So there I was happily expecting a song of that sort, and then the MV hit me with Kuwata-brand weirdness like a brick. Should have seen that coming.
Firstly, I did not expect to be greeted by two persons dressed in what is perhaps Mongolian or some native Chinese tribe garb. Secondly, I did not expect to see a guy painted turquoise wearing a turban and working the DJ turntables. Thirdly, I REALLY DID NOT expect to see a lady, who is probably Yoshiko-san herself, fully disrobing. And that's just the first half of it - it's farther down the rabbit hole you go as you continue on to the next half. I would rate the snippet of the MV as M18 and NSFW. Then there was the hypnotizing and rather disconcerting music that sounded like EDM crossed with Bollywood. Needless to say, it left me speechless immediately after that. You can watch the full version on a special SAS site dedicated to "Yoshiko-san".
Well, but as traumatizing as it may sound, it actually was really catchy in an unsettling sort of way and I couldn't help but revisit the song over and over again. Kudos to you, Kei-chan. For his lyrics that I had to look up as I had absolutely no idea what he was saying... I also don't really have a clear idea on what it's about, but the stanzas before the choruses have Kuwata sounding like an out-of-touch old bean who has no idea what current day music like R&B is, and the only thing he knows is Disco and enka. Also, at a later part of "Yoshiko-san", the lyrics include the words "Ero-pon" (Adult magazines), and the reason why it's in there is simply because, as what I read on the song's J-Wiki page, the singer-songwriter is a fan of such stuff... *Shrugs shoulders* At least he's honest. :/
"Yoshiko-san" hit the shelves not too long ago on 29th June 2016. But despite its recent release, the song that was meant to be a mess of Indian, Latin, Persian, and South East Asian influences (according to Kei-chan) did really well on the Oricon charts, getting as high as 2nd place on the weeklies and selling 81000 copies within the first week alone. Soon "Yoshiko-san" got certified Gold.