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 16, 2021

Kiyoshi Hasegawa -- Afterglow


Last October, I wrote about singer-songwriter Kiyoshi Hasegawa's(長谷川きよし)1985 "City Lights Blue" which was a pleasant surprise since I'd known him initially as a folk singer with the predilection for bossa nova. Of course, I have no bias against folk or bossa nova, which I do love, but Hasegawa was another example of a Japanese singer in the folk genre who made a leap into City Pop. 

However, on finding this particular song recorded by Hasegawa, I realize that his dabblings into the urban contemporary went even further back. Case in point: this track from his November 1978 album "Another Door", "Afterglow". At first, when I was looking up his discography on J-Wiki, I saw a 1976 album of his with that very same title of "After Glow" (albeit divided into two words), but then checking the track list and not seeing a title track with that name, I realized that the uploader was correct with that above thumbnail image of "Another Door" since "Afterglow" the song was placed in there. I gather that Hasegawa must have assumed that "Afterglow" was too cool a title not to earn a song around it.

In any case, "Afterglow" is an interesting concoction between composer Hasegawa and lyricist Rei Tsushima(津島玲). It's got some of that Margaritaville aspect of City Pop/J-AOR with honey-toned trumpet and Fender Rhodes but at the same time as the song continues to flow steadily, there is also a hint of folk especially at the end of the verses. Additional horns come into play to provide some more fusion and then there are even a clarinet and a harmonica thrown into the mix with the latter having its solo near the end. Those last two instruments seem to inject a bit of old-time whimsey.

Feel relaxed enough to sip a good cocktail along to this one. 

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