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, May 5, 2018

Naoko Kawai -- 9 1/2 (Follow-Up)

Gotta say that Naoko Kawai(河合奈保子)went to some beautiful and spectacular vistas in the United States when she was making her album "9 1/2" in 1985. Speaking of which, I've decided to cover a couple of more tracks from this release in which she embraces some of her inner 80s American AOR and pop. I decided to put on the original LP that I had bought at the old Sun Wa store in Chinatown on the old stereo earlier this afternoon.

The two tracks are more on the general pop side of things rather than the mellower AOR that I wrote about in the original article back in 2012. Case in point: "There's Not Many Left" was created by Stephen Kipner and Paul Bliss with Masao Urino(売野雅勇)providing the Japanese lyrics (as he did on most of the tracks) to Kawai. The arrangement had me definitely remembering the days of mullets and full denim outfits. Plus, some of the music reminded me of "Eyes of a Stranger" by the Canadian New Wave band The Payolas.

On the other hand, the final track on "9 1/2", "Only In My Dreams" takes things to the area of Japanese pop/rock band Rebecca, in my estimation. Eric McClure and Meredith Stewart were behind this somewhat smoky and mysterious song.

Generally speaking, I go more for the AOR tracks than I do for the relatively "harder-edged" material. However, there's no denying that Kawai is definitely not doing her aidoru thing here for this album.

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