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, June 4, 2021

Toko Okabe -- Vacancy


We start off today's crop of "Kayo Kyoku Plus" articles with another little-known singer-songwriter who rather came and went. In fact, 1989 was her sole year in the limelight.

For any singers named Toko, the one that always comes to mind is the silky and svelte Toko Furuuchi(古内東子)who had her big time from the 1990s. However, there was that one singer with that same first name who appeared in that final year of the 1980s: Toko Okabe(岡部東子). Very little information is available online about her and I couldn't even find where she hailed from.

However, she did release two singles and two albums in 1989 and the one album that I'm featuring here is "Stay the Sun" which came out in October. As one Japanese blogger noted, Okabe was going for a more mature sound with this second and final album, and as he put it, the results were pretty humdrum. Still, I don't have any axe to grind with that first track "Vacancy" which was written and composed by her. Okabe has some light and pleasant soul in her voice and "Vacancy" possesses some nice and understated groove. I'm never going to turn down any light and mellow R&B.

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