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.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Chiharu Matsuyama -- SWAY

This was quite the unusual song by Chiharu Matsuyama(松山千春)since I was always accustomed to hearing folk tunes performed by the Hokkaido native. However, one night on an episode of "Music Fair", Matsuyama came out in his bald glory to perform something that was very much in the urban contemporary vein. Although it was indeed that distinctive nasal voice of his, there were no feelings of rice fields and mountains. Instead, the sense was that of honking cars, highways and a steamy tryst in a hotel.

Even the title "SWAY" stood out since it was the first song of his making that was all in romanized caps, and once again, no feeling of anything out in the countryside unless one was going to imagine rice stalks in the wind. But the melody made it quite certain that the plot of the song took place somewhere far away from the paddies. Plus, the performance above has even added some spicy Latin jazz into the proceedings.

"SWAY" was released as Matsuyama's 29th single in November 1989. The song was also included in his 5th BEST singles album "Kisho Tenketsu V"(起承転結 V)from April 1990 which peaked at No. 28 on Oricon. The title refers to the structure of certain Chinese poetry.

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