Credits

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.

Monday, July 29, 2013

My Little Lover -- Hello, Again




Every time I landed in Japan, I always came across new forms of popular music. In 1981, it was the first of the decade's frilly-and-sweet aidoru boom along with technopop, and in 1989, it was kayo kyoku making way for the diversification into J-Pop. And then in the mid-90s, on the one hand, it was the dance music steamroller driven by Tetsuya Komuro(小室哲哉), and on the other, was the jangly guitar pop of bands like Mr. Children, Spitz and this unit called My Little Lover.

There were a few songs which best represented my time in Japan in the 90s, and included in that group was My Little Lover's "Hello, Again". Actually, I first heard about the duo of Akiko 'Akko' Akamatsu(赤松亜希子) and Kenji Fujii(藤井謙二) through their debut single, "Man & Woman", a swingy and sprightly tune released in spring 1995 and created by songwriter and producer Takeshi Kobayashi(小林武史)that was a regular inhabitant on the "CDTV" and Oricon charts. I remember it primarily for Akko's delivery of "Ma-an, Woman". It was a cute number but it wasn't quite enough for me to pick up a single or album by them.

Then, Takeshi Kobayashi officially joined My Little Lover as a member, and the trio was complete. There was a second single, "Shiroi Kite"白いカイト...White Kite) a couple of months later, and then in even less time in August came their third song, "Hello Again....Mukashi Kara Aru Basho"昔からある場所...A Place That's Been There For Ages). This was the one that reeled me in, hook line and sinker. There was just something about Akko's soft but resonant voice and the breezy melody that pulled me in. The song and video also had plenty of airplay on "CDTV", so I got to say hello again to "Hello Again" over many weeks.

The song was written and composed by Kobayashi with Fujii co-writing the melody. "Hello Again" was a huge hit; in fact, it's been the band's biggest hit up to now with over 1.73 million discs sold. It hit the No. 1 spot on Oricon and later became the 6th-ranked song of the year.




My Little Lover -- Hello Again

3 comments:

  1. Hi J,

    Thank you so much for introducing a song from "My Little Lover".

    I'm not really a fan of anyone and there are only very few artists that I can admit to enjoy the work unconditionally. But one of them is just this band (and the most notable other one is a singer very famous on this blog whose the singer of this band made a cover two years ago... guess who...).

    Anyway, in the recent japanese pop music, "My little Lover" is certainly one of the most succesfully innovative formation. Each of their albums was a surprise featuring solid compositions, great arrangements and the clear voice of Akko, becoming like a friend with time. Even their self-cover albums like "Organic", "acoakko" and the quite conceptual "The Waters" are really interresting and can be considered as new creations in their own right since they provide some totally alternative vision of their work.

    Luckily, the band, even reduced to the single Akko, seems to continue its work with the same spirit.

    About this song "Hello, again", I would suggest to search for the acoustic live version included in the album "Acoakko - Debut" (the most moving of the many versions I've heard).

    Juju also recently sung a cover of the song associated to Sony digital camera but it's nothing really special (well produced but way too much classical compared to the original).

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    Replies
    1. Hi there. It's been over 18 months since I started up the blog, but there are still people I have yet to cover, and My Little Lover, I'm happy to say, is now up on the board. I guess if I were to use a one-word descriptor for Akko and her group, it would be "fresh". After a night of hearing Komuro technopop, it's nice to come out into the light and hear a MLL tune.

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  2. i really love my little lover band....the songs always 'evergreen'...i know this band when i was 14 in 2002 but i can't forget the melody until now

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