Oh good heavens! It's been almost a year since my last Misia article. Wonderful thing to have her back in the fold.
Buying her debut album "Mother Father Brother Sister" in the late 1990s, my impression was that there was a true talent in Misia but perhaps she was tapping those higher registers a bit too much in those tracks. However, with some more judicious usage of that sonic weapon, she could make a dramatic statement.
Her 4th single "Wasurenai Hibi" (The Unforgotten Days) actually was on her 2nd album from New Year's Day 2000, "LOVE IS THE MESSAGE" with the single itself coming out in November 1999. As they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder, so it's definitely nice to hear this one again. Actually, I used to hear this one quite often back in the day because it was used as a campaign song for Hitachi Maxell audiotapes (I guess they were still selling those back then).
Man, I do miss those soul ballads from back then. Misia came up with the lyrics about a lady asking her very-soon-to-be ex-boyfriend to hold her hand one more time and remember past days before the end of their relationship while Toshiaki Matsumoto（松本俊明）composed the lovely music. It may have signaled the end of a romance but "Wasurenai Hibi" couldn't get much more romantic. In all likelihood, folks in the audience had to grab a Kleenex or handkerchief before Misia finished her performance.
The single got as high as No. 4 on Oricon and ended the year as the 65th-ranked single for 2000 as it went Platinum. As for "LOVE IS THE MESSAGE", it went all the way to No. 1 on the weeklies and became the 4th-ranked album of the year, winning a Best Album prize at the Japan Record Awards and breaking the 2 million barrier in sales.