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|