I've been a fan of Japanese popular music for over 35 years, and have managed to collect hundreds of CDs during that time. So I decided I wanted to talk about Showa Era music with like-minded fans. My particular era is the 70s and 80s (thus the "kayo kyoku"). The plus part includes a number of songs and artists from the last 20 years and even some of the early stuff. So,let's talk about New Music, aidoru, City Pop and enka. (Sorry but music163 is now dead so ignore those links.)
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.
Thursday, June 11, 2015
Ayami Muto -- A.Y.M.
Note: You can listen to the original studio recording here.
Ayami Muto (武藤彩未) is a solo aidoru singer who was a member of
aidoru groups Karen Girl’s (可憐Girl's) and Sakura
Gakuin (さくら学院), the same group that introduced BABYMETAL to the world. Funny fact is
that both Ayami and Suzuka Nakamoto (中元すず香), known as BABYMETAL’s main
vocalist SU-METAL, were part of Karen Girl’s before joining Sakura Gakuin.
Also, stretching things even further, Karen Girl’s was once called Perfume’s “little
sister” group, because all the girls were from Actors School Hiroshima (ASH), which is, of
course, the same school that introduced A~chan (あ～ちゃん),
Kashiyuka (かしゆか) and Nocchi (のっち) to the world.
thing is, after some years in Sakura Gakuin, Ayami Muto decided to start a solo career, and she began with a couple of
80s aidoru cover albums which were released in 2013. Some months later, she
released her first album, “Eien to Shunkan” (永遠と瞬間),
in April 2014.
I had a hard time liking Ayami Muto’s stuff. I remember reading lots of
positive reviews and not feeling anything while listening to “Eien to Shunkan”.
Let’s say that, besides Ayami’s pleasurable tone of voice, her songs were too
plain for me at first. I had to listen to “Eien to Shukan” a couple more times
to really start feeling some of its material, and then “A.Y.M.” finally popped
out as my favorite from the bunch.
“A.Y.M.” is a
highlight from “Eien to Shunkan”, although not its promotional song. In fact, I
liked it more than the promotional tune, “Chuu” (宙), that can be
listened here, for curiosity purpose.
a very dark-tinged Techno sound, “A.Y.M.” is quite different from the more
bubbly aidoru pop Ayami Muto normally includes in her releases. Based on this,
the song is the complete opposite from her 80s aidoru inspirations, such as
Seiko Matsuda (松田聖子), for example.
It’s like a modern version of the more dramatic and classical-inspired
European synthpop tunes that were done in the 80s, even though Ayami is
probably not allowed to do something so over the top at this point of her
career (let’s think about “It’s a Sin” by Pet Shop Boys or “Good-Bye” by Savage
for a moment).
a side note, the keyboardist just goes crazy in the live performance posted
at the beginning. He even compete with Ayami Muto in terms of who deserves more
“Eien to Shunkan” album reached #16 on the Oricon charts, selling 3,184 copies.
Lyrics for “A.Y.M.” were written by Yukinojo Mori (森雪之丞),
while music was composed by Takeshi Asakawa. As for the arrangement, Atsushi (篤志), from the band THE Yatou (THE 野党), was the responsible.