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.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Naoko Ken -- Roppongi Rain(六本木レイン)

Almost a year ago, I wrote about chanteuse/actress/tarento Naoko Ken's(研ナオコ)"Kishuu"(帰愁), a City Pop cover of a Yumi Matsutoya(松任谷由実)song that I enjoyed even more than the original by the Queen of New Music.

Well, just before that 37th single came "Roppongi Rain" in May 1985. Also written by a couple of veterans, Masao Urino and Takuro Yoshida(売野雅勇・吉田拓郎), I would also consider Ken's 36th a contemporary City Pop tune but this time, it seems to be mixed in with some old-style kayo arrangement of the 1970s. In a way, I can also think of it as a Mood Kayo.

As would befit the title, the story that plays out here is a woman heartbreakingly finding out that her paramour has been pulling a romantic con game all this time in the entertainment district. Again, Ken does a fine job with it due to that resigned and slightly cracking voice, but I can also imagine folks such as Akina Nakamori(中森明菜)and Yosui Inoue(井上陽水)giving their own spins on "Roppongi Rain". Perhaps by this point, Ken was probably more popular for her comical appearances on television than for her singing career, but I think "Roppongi Rain" is a hidden gem.

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