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.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Humbert Humbert -- Tora(虎)

Late last year, I wrote about a longtime folk duo, Humbert Humbert(ハンバート ハンバート), and their gentle and refreshing ballad "Onaji Hanashi"(おなじ話)from 2005. I came across their name again while scrolling through the Labels section on the blog, so I decided to see what else I could find by the husband-and-wife team of Ryosei Sato(佐藤良成)and Yuuho Sano(佐野遊穂).

It looks like I didn't need to go too far back. In fact, I only needed to go as far back as a few weeks since Humbert Humbert released their 10th album, "Folk 2" on July 25th this year. And one track from the album that has gotten its own music video is "Tora" (Tiger), written and composed by Sato.

With that heavy piano anchoring things, "Tora" sounds like it has quite a story to tell. And going through Sato's lyrics, the story is about what seems to be a songwriter who is going through some major angst-ridden writer's block, although I think the words could certainly apply to any artist experiencing a slump.

That straggly-haired fellow between Sano and Sato in the video happens to be Naoki Matayoshi(又吉直樹), a comic and successful author. He's become a familiar presence on Japanese TV for a few years now just on his own although he's one-half of the comedic duo, Peace. I don't watch too many of his shows but know him as a somewhat deadpan deliverer of quotes. Considering the theme of "Tora", I think that he's a pretty well-placed character.

"Tora" sounds like a tune that would make for a popular song to be performed by high school glee clubs at annual competitions but perhaps the lyrical content might be a bit too depressing.

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