Well I'll be darned! It felt like it was never going to happen but I think my interest in Akira Fuse (布施明) has been revived.
I very much enjoyed Fuse's booming vocals when I came across the evergreen (or should I say red?) "Kimi wa Bara yorimo Utsukushii" (君は薔薇よりも美しい) quite some time ago. At that point, because of his voice, I felt that this guy could potentially become one of my favourite singers. Disappointingly it never really came to pass as many of his successful works didn't appeal to me, and my "Akira Fuse Playlist" in my phone had just one measly song to its name. However, with the help of "Uta Kon", "Kimi ni Ai ni Yuku yo" (Fuse's most recent single at this point in time) has been added to the list.
Sung first during the new single section at the last leg of "Uta Kon" a couple of weeks ago, "Kimi ni Ai ni Yuku yo" definitely wasn't like the rest of the line-up. The modern rock-themed melody had quite a Western sound, and the wonderful wailing of the electric guitar and easygoing pace felt refreshing after a barrage of enka/Mood Kayo. Together with Fuse's casual black suit and guitar, it had me thinking of American rock band, Eagles and their MV for "Busy Being Fabulous". Needless to say, I fell in love with this Fuse ballad immediately.
Musician and film maker Ippei Onoe (尾上一平), who had collaborated with Fuse on a few occasions, was responsible for creating "Kimi ni Ai ni Yuku yo". The lyrics seem to be about be our protagonist's journey to meet his lover - it seems to highlight his desire to see her as soon as possible. The song was released a couple of months ago on 7th September 2016.
Yup, I just got the single! Thank goodness I delayed my planned CD purchases so I could add this one into the lot. The music sounds amazing and is richer in the recorded version, but Fuse's delivery there feels like he took a gentler, more restrained approach as compared to the live versions.
Fuse is giving a bit of that Johnny Depp vibe from this photo, but the look suits him well - the chinstrap beard especially - and the guitar really ties things together. Speaking of electric guitars, Fuse got his first one at the age of 15.