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, December 8, 2016

Mika Nakashima -- SEVEN

Had a somewhat frustrating day due to the fact that I was editing a pretty massive translation which was done by a fellow (hope it wasn't one of ours) who clearly was very pressed for time. The image I can give you is a 20-year-old jalopy literally dropping pieces of itself as it putters down the highway.

What soothed the pain to a certain extent was popping in the above CD for the first time in a while. Yep, that is Mika Nakashima's(中島美嘉)BEST from December 2005 which zoomed up to No. 1 and sold over a million copies. It also ended up becoming the 6th-ranked album for 2006 which goes to show how successful it was. Although I like her songs, I cannot say that I have been a super die-hard fan of hers so as I said, it was quite a while since I threw the disc into the player. However in that way, I not only re-acquainted myself nicely with those big hits but re-discovered some of those other singles which I'm starting to re-appreciate.

One such song was "SEVEN" which was actually her 11th single from April 2004. I've been accustomed to hearing Nakashima sing those languid ballads for so long that I had forgotten that she did perform her share of uptempo material as well. So this was another one of my re-discoveries. Unfortunately, the above video is the short version but I think we can all get an idea of the song which seems to bring back some of those memories of House music.

There was a small point about the music video as noted in J-Wiki in which the plan was to have Nakashima drive through the streets in a car but then it was decided to do it all in-studio with some CG speed effects. Perhaps her insurance agent was feigning a heart attack during the planning meeting.

The lyrics by Nakashima herself relate a tale of a woman who tries her best through the course of a week to resist the pull of a man only to ultimately fail. As some aliens have said, "Resistance is futile". That bouncy beat was provided by Lori Fine, the vocalist of COLDFEET, a band that has covered House, Breakbeats and Drum n' Bass. And in fact, Fine and her partner from the band, Watusi, arranged the song.

I guess Nakashima really had a long association with Kanebo Cosmetics since the above video has a whole slew of her commercials featuring her songs. The one with "SEVEN" is at 48 seconds. I've always remembered the catchphrase breathed by that sultry voiceover: "No more rules, KATE". The singer could've probably adopted the name by the time she finished her time with the company.

(karaoke version)

"SEVEN" hit No. 3 on Oricon. Not sure how she has been doing recently but she recently released her 41st single last month "Forget Me Not" which has gone as high as No. 33. Her latest album, "REAL" came out back in 2013 and hit No. 1.

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