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, June 15, 2015

Hatsumi Shibata -- Aikagi (合鍵)

(karaoke version)

Since I covered Hatsumi Shibata's(しばたはつみ)"My Luxury Night" a couple of years ago, I've had a certain ear on her material through YouTube. She seems to have had an interest in the jazz and Latin genres but I remember remarking in "My Luxury Night" about her debut single, "Aikagi" (Master [or perhaps Duplicate] Key), so I decided to take a look at that.

Shibata's 1st single came out in September 1974 and it's an interesting song since it sounds like a hybrid tune of Japanese funk (a la Junko Ohashi) and a sweeping torch ballad. The two melodies weave in and out throughout "Aikagi". It's definitely not a typical love song. Composed by Kunihiko Suzuki(鈴木邦彦)and written by Fumiko Okada(岡田冨美子), Shibata sings from the point of view of the other woman who is grieving over the end of the affair while still holding onto that titular key that opened that secret chamber that she had once shared with her paramour. A September rain would be the perfect weather for the mood here.

I'm not quite sure what to make of the funky part but I like the sweep of the violins since I imagine the woman looking out forlornly from some bridge looking out at Tokyo Bay. Ah, c'est l'amour! The above is a karaoke version, by the way.

The hotels of West Shinjuku

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