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.

Friday, July 17, 2020

Kaze -- Umikaze(海風)

For an October 1977 album that has been categorized as a folk release, "Umikaze" (Sea Breeze) by the folk duo Kaze(風)starts off with something that really doesn't sound like a languid or strident folk tune.

The first tune is the title tune. Beginning with a guitar riff that reminds me either of Simon & Garfunkel or "Kimi Janakya Dame Mitai" (君じゃなきゃダメみたい), the opening theme for the hilarious anime "Gekkan Shojo Nozaki-kun"(月刊少女野崎くん...Girls' Monthly Nozaki-kun), "Umikaze" is a darn rollicking City Pop/J-AOR song. Performed by Shozo Ise(伊勢正三)and Kazuhisa Okubo(大久保一久), it really demands a car, a car stereo and a bayside highway to go along with the attractive funkiness of it which includes a cool sax solo.

Words and music were provided by Ise, who's no stranger to the urban contemporary, and his "Umikaze" is delivered as his recommendation of a sea breeze to cure all that ails you. Well, driving in a top-down convertible during a summer sunset along the coast, I think that many can relate to that. As for "Umikaze" the album, it hit No. 1 and became the 43rd-ranked release for 1978. I'll have to check out some of the other tracks.

However, when I was living in Japan, there was another Sea Breeze that provided the pause that refreshes.

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