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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, March 3, 2018

Mioko Yamaguchi -- Nirvana


Time to finish the trifecta of the Mioko Yamaguchi(山口美央子)albums I got from the LOGIC STORE back in January. I've covered the introspective "Tsukihime"(月姫)from 1983 and then her debut album "Yume Hiko"(夢飛行)from 1980. Now, I'm going to cover the middle release "Nirvana" which came out in 1981.


Akira Inoue(井上鑑)produced "Nirvana" as he did Yamaguchi's "Yume Hiko", and once again, the album is another mix of mellow AOR/City Pop tunes with jumpy technopop treats. The latter genre starts things off here with "Itsumo Takaramono"(いつも宝物...Always A Jewel). Happily, Yamaguchi again provides commentary on the liner notes for the CD and she points out that she based this on the music by The Buggles (who were responsible for the immortal "Video Killed The Radio Star"). I think the frenetic synths confirmed that statement.


The second track is "Chord C no Kibun"(コードCの気分...C-Chord Feeling)which sounds like a bit of that Billy Joel pop/rock from around the same time. The notable thing about this song is that it has that Japanesque intro which also had me thinking of "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus".


"Lonely Dreamer" had the singer-songwriter stating "This is America, isn't it?" in the liner notes. Yup, I would say from the West Coast of the late 1970s. According to her, she infused the ballad with that air of the Eagles' "Desperado", but instead of getting that feeling of being out in the prairie, I felt like that it was still solidly in the city.


Inoue himself provides some vocal support for "Telephone Game" which, like the title intimates, seems to have a trans-Atlantic back-and-forth in terms of genres. British New Wave and American Billboard pop/rock of the time are having a table tennis match here, and I especially like the outro with the keyboards and guitar.

There are a few more tracks but I will cover them individually. Of course, I already covered one back in 2014, "Kaze ni Dakarete"(風に抱かれて). The charm of "Nirvana" is that it does cover a number of genres so I haven't gotten bored from musical monotony when it comes to this album.


2 comments:

  1. Hi J-Canuck!

    First, I'd like to thank you to have introduced me this artist when you introduced her 3rd album a few weeks ago.

    After listening to her songs, I finally bought "Nirvana" mostly because it's less techno kayo and more guitar friendly :) thanks to Masaki Matsubara and Tsuyoshi Kon input. So a lot more towards my personal taste. This album has a 5 stars lineup to be honest.

    I've also bought it at LOGIC STORE and had a pleasant chat with Toshi at that time (he's also one of the 3 production directors of this reissue/remaster). My CD was shipped with an extra lyrics sheet, twice the size of the original one; so that you can now easily read them.

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    1. Hi, Daemonskald!

      Glad to hear that you bought "Nirvana" from the store and that you were able to have a nice talk with Toshi. And you were lucky to get that bigger lyrics sheet. Unfortunately with my eyesight, there is no way I can read the lyrics right now but that's OK. I am more of a melody guy anyways.

      Having the three albums now, it's been great to have the gamut of Yamaguchi's work as a singer.

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