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.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

PSY-S -- Lemon no Yuuki/Cubic Lovers (Lemonの勇気)

Happy Saturday! However it's pretty darn cold here in my neck of the woods. I think if we are very lucky today, we may just reach a high of -7 degrees Celsius...and that's not taking into consideration the wind chill factor.

It's been a long time since I spoke about PSY-S. I did like the way that the Wikipedia writer for their article described the music of Chaka and Masaya Matsuura(松浦雅也)as progressive pop. It's not an expression that I've ever used for them; I've been content enough to describe their brand of music as a unique and bright form of technopop that set them apart from acts such as Yellow Magic Orchestra. But progressive pop is appropriate since the duo did stand apart from just about every musical act that existed at that time in the late 1980s.

Apparently, PSY-S is most famous among the collective fandom of anime and J-Pop for their 6th single "Lemon no Yuuki" (Lemon Courage). Written by Kenzo Saeki(サエキけんぞう)and composed by Matsuura for release in September 1987, it was made as the image song for the anime OVA that has supposedly become a cult favourite (although the fellow who provided the English translation of the lyrics here wrote a more backhanded compliment), "TO-Y".

In the J-Wiki article for "Lemon no Yuuki", I read that the song was never the official theme song due to some contractual issues (although Matsuura was in charge of the music for the anime) but the official music video was able to use a few scenes from the OVA. However from the opening of the actual movie at the top, about a minute or so of the song is right in there. I did think it kinda strange that something as progressive pop as this tune would be used for an anime about the trials and tribulations of the title character, Toi Fujii(藤井冬威), trying to get his punk band, GASP, to fame and fortune.

Still it's a typically eclectic PSY-S song with Chaka's high vocals leading an interesting arrangement of guitar, bass, drums, electronics and even flute. There is something contemporary and old-world about it at the same time. Saeki's lyrics are pretty atmospheric but the basic gist is about holding onto love and hopes for the future.

The B-side to "Lemon no Yuuki" is "Cubic Lovers" which is a more introspective ballad about the wonder of waking up in the big city the next day next to your lover. I was half expecting some sort of sad breakup to happen by the end of the song but, nope, it's all quite hopeful. Everyone is content and happy. Apparently, "Cubic Lovers" is also present at the end of "TO-Y" with Matsuura taking care of the music here while Yukio Matsuo(松尾由紀夫)provided the lyrics.

Both songs originally appeared on PSY-S' 3rd album "Mint-Electric" from August 1987 but I first heard both of them on the BEST compilation, "Two Hearts" from 1991.

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