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Monday, October 11, 2021

Anzen Chitai -- V (Suki sa, Side 1)


First off, Happy Thanksgiving to the Canadian viewers of "Kayo Kyoku Plus" today! I realize that for many of you this may be the first time in a couple of years that the whole family can get together for that turkey or roast ham dinner. Please enjoy!

Just continuing on with the "Anzen Chitai V" miniseries that has been going on where I've been going side to side to take a look at the various tracks. Last time at the end of August, we looked at Side 2 of the first LP, and today we'll be going over Side 1 of the second LP that has been given the subtitle of "Suki sa"(好きさ...I Love You). As usual, Koji Tamaki(玉置浩二)composed the songs while Goro Matsui(松井五郎)provided the lyrics.

In contrast with how Side 2 of that first LP ended with the sad but poignant "Kioku no Mori"(記憶の森), Side 1 of this second LP launches with Tamaki and company singing the happy rock of "Doudai"(どーだい)which can be translated into "How's it going, eh?" (remember that I am from the Great White North) or "What do you think?". In either case, Tamaki is exhorting the downtrodden to get off their keesters and self-pity and join him on the road to fun and excitement. There's no time to be alone! The leader of Anzen Chitai(安全地帯)may excel at those tear-worthy ballads but I think that he really loves these kickass numbers.

The second track on Side 1 of "Suki sa" is "Parade ga Yatte Kuru"(パレードがやってくる)which I've already written about, and it continues the good times with a child-like whimsy. But then, we return to the introspection with Track 3, "Umi to Shonen"(海と少年...The Sea and The Boy), a slower song about a man (or a boy, as the title says) walking alone on the beach wondering about a past romance. Among a record filled with highlights, "Umi to Shonen" has been especially brilliant for me, especially when that jazzy trumpet returns to finish things off as if it's time to get back to the city.

"Tsuki no Shizuku"(月の雫...Moondrops) is an atmospheric exotic song that is crooned by Tamaki as if he were representing the dry winds blowing over the desert first mentioned in the song. Along with bringing back some of the original Anzen Chitai sound, the vocalist paints a picture of having to show a different side of himself to the one he loves while hiding his true self. The struggle has left him exhausted and parched but he's still willing to keep on the charade. 

"Ranhansha"(乱反射...Diffuse Reflection) is one of the slightly longer tracks on this side and like the previous track, it has a certain mysticism to lead things off, but soon after, the mystery takes on more of a form of film noir as Tamaki sings about getting helplessly tied up in a woman's web from which there is no escape. This moody song returns some more of that early band sound so that I think it could have easily belonged to one of those first albums from the early 1980s.

As was the case with Side 2 of the "Friends" record, Side 1 of "Suki sa" ends with a Kleenex-necessary ballad that can only be delivered by the heartrending voice of Tamaki. "Hohoemi"(ほゝえみ...Your Smile) is another big highlight of the entire "V" album which has Matsui's lyrics mourning and celebrating a worthwhile romance that sadly had to end. The big finish is wonderful but it's that intro with the piano that has had me at hello. As a variation on that drinking game, sniffle into your tissue whenever Tamaki sings "Sayonara"!

It seems like Side 1 here has some more variety in terms of melody but it still brings together different aspects of relationships ranging from danger to poignancy.

1 comment:

  1. "The leader of Anzen Chitai(安全地帯)may excel at those tear-worthy ballads but I think that he really loves these kickass numbers."
    That pretty much sums up Anzen Chitai career. I think the 1888 release "I Love Youからはじめよう" is one of those songs that proves the point you are making maybe also "We're alive" and "じれったい" , too.


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