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, June 6, 2018

Kumi Showji -- Because It's Love

A little over a year ago, I wrote about Kumi Showji's(障子久美)sparkling "city plot" from her 4th album "Because It's Love". Well, after putting the article onto the blog, I told myself that I ought to buy the album myself. Indeed, that's what I did, and "Because It's Love" is now in my hands.

Released in 1992, the singer-songwriter from Shiga Prefecture took care of words and music for all of the tracks, including "city plot", and it's a wonder that she didn't get a higher profile on the charts and other media.

But before I get into venting mode, I will just deftly go into the album itself starting with the first track "Ame no Machi kara"(雨の街から...From The Rainy Streets), a rich and smooth R&B ballad that sounds like it came more from the 1980s (the sax helps). From listening to this opening track, I felt that I did make a good purchase.

"my only angel" is another love ballad that strikes me in the nostalgia nerves. It was used as the theme song for the TBS documentary program "Sekai no Kekkon Shiki"(世界の結婚式...The World's Wedding Ceremonies)that seems to have been kicked around through multiple networks under different titles between 1968 and 2002.

"you were my love" is a standout for me since it reminds me so much of the Quiet Storm sector of 80s R&B. The nighttime jazziness and soul in here would probably have Anita Baker nodding in approval. My kudos to George Duke for his piano solo.

There are a few uptempo tracks on "Because It's Love", but I have to say that Showji's mid-tempo and slow songs are my favourites here and that includes the final track "Saigo no Onegai"(最後のお願い...A Final Request). The age of Misia and bird wouldn't be around for another several years, but there were already some mighty fine R&B songstresses out there including Minako Yoshida(吉田美奈子), and I would place Showji among them.

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