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.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Ringo Shiina/Chiaki Kuriyama -- Seishun no Matataki (青春の瞬き)

OK, in all honesty, watching Ringo Shiina's(椎名林檎)performance at Tokyo City Hall (I know that's not the official name of the place but it's easier for me) on the 2016 Kohaku Utagassen a second time didn't have quite the impact that it did when I had first caught it about 10 days ago. I was never a huge fan of that "Let's all pretend to be mannequins!" craze and I'm starting to get a tad tired of Shiina's vocals often cracking up near the end of a song. Still, her performance of "Seishun no Matataki" (Flicker of Youth) with her old band Tokyo Jihen(東京事変...Tokyo Incidents)ended up as my one highlight from the 2016 show.

"Seishun no Matataki" was a song created by Shiina and arranged by Keiichi Tomita(冨田恵一...aka Tomita Lab)for her album of self-covers "Gyakuyunyū: Kōwankyoku"(逆輸入 〜港湾局〜...Reimport: Ports and Harbours Bureau)from May 2014. I have yet to hear the original version but so far I've enjoyed her concert versions. When I found out that Tomita arranged the song, I nodded appreciatively since from some of the other songs that I've heard, mostly from his great album "Shipbuilding", he has had that wonderful ability to add that cool and classy urban contemporary feeling to his works. I'm not sure whether Shiina meant it to be so, but the song almost seems to be a love song or a lullaby in tribute to Tokyo itself. Moreover, the tune has included the genres that the singer-songwriter has dabbled in all through her career: rock and jazz with some technopop thrown in. I wouldn't mind if Shiina performed this again at the 2020 Olympic Opening or Closing Ceremonies...and with that projection mapping.

Now I did say that "Gyakuyunyū: Kōwankyoku" was Shiina's album of self-covers so there was an original version and that version was sung by actress/singer Chiaki Kuriyama(栗山千明)as the coupling song for her 5th single, "Tsukiyo no Shozo"(月夜の肖像...Portrait of the Moonlit Night/Identité de la Lune)from November 2011. The arrangement there sounded a bit more straight-on pop but I have to say that the former Go Go Yubari didn't sound too bad at all. Kuriyama's version also received the French title of "Le Moment". The single peaked at No. 62. As for Shiina's album, "Gyakuyunyū: Kōwankyoku" went as high as No. 3 on Oricon.

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