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.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Light Mellow

Commenter Gen Kanai contacted me a few nights ago asking about whether I would talk about the "Light Mellow" series of CDs since I've often referred to them on specific articles. And seeing that I've written on a couple of other series "Good Times Diva" and "Seishun Uta Nenkan"(青春歌年鑑), I went "Why not?"

Unlike those first two series which I found out about when I was living in Japan at the turn of the century, "Light Mellow" was something I discovered after returning home to Toronto for good; I had a chance encounter with one of their campaign YouTube videos and listening to the sample tracks on one of its albums "Breeze", I realized that the series concentrated on J-AOR and City Pop. The love lights suddenly flashed on in my head! Plus that title and the calming design of the cover had me thinking air freshener...and I do love me a good air freshener.

To make another comparison with "Good Times Diva" and "Seishun Uta Nenkan", the various songs from the "Light Mellow" series are not Oricon-friendly hits and mostly fall within the underwater 90% of that J-Pop iceberg which I've found to be the case with the genres of J-AOR and City Pop. There are a few songs that have become recognizable to listeners at large but the vast majority of them are tunes that are either somewhat more obscure album-only tracks by famous singers such as EPO and Masayuki Suzuki(鈴木雅之)or complete revelations to me by folks that I had never heard about. Basically for me and the blog, "Light Mellow" has been quite the manna from heaven!

I've also already spoken of some of the songs on the blog because I discovered them through "Light Mellow" such as "Parallel=" (パラレル=) by Fumiya Sashida(指田郁也)and "Day Dreamin'" by little-known R&B unit Chocolate Lips, and one of the nice things about the series has been that producers have been able to put up tracks that had never been committed to CD before such as that latter song. For those who have enjoyed listening to some of the Future Funk or whatever they're calling those certain remixes these days by Artzie Music or Yung Bae, I would say that this series could be a nice medium to find out where they all began. But heck, anyone who likes their Steely Dan or Doobie Brothers and doesn't mind the Japanese language can get into "Light Mellow".

According to their website, the series was released during the years of 2014 and 2015 and if I have counted correctly, a total of 24 compilation albums have been released. But as you can also see above, the producers also released albums focusing on specific artists of the genre. Up to this point, I've been able to get a few of those discs and hopefully I can procure a few more.


  1. Thanks for your thoughts! I have the Penny Tohyama Light Mellow but am looking for my next one. A part of me is more interested in owning the original albums (maybe on vinyl, because City Pop albums are cheap on auction in Japan) but I can also see the value in a good compilation for listening (vinyl is more of a fetish to own/view as playing vinyl is clearly more of a hassle although I do own a pair of turntables.)

    1. Always a pleasure, Gen!

      Yeah, I can imagine that a lot of the folks who were born after the CD era were probably exclaiming in shock when they heard about LPs, "What do you mean, you HAVE TO FLIP THE DISC OVER?!"


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