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 11, 2016

Miki Imai -- Setsunasa no Mukougawa (切なさの向こう側)

Ahhh...another summer Monday night. Let's try something a little relaxing such as an early Miki Imai(今井美樹), shall we? It kinda sounds like I'm recommending a cute cocktail, doesn't it? But listening to one of my favourite singers way back in the days of her debut makes for a nice tonic.

Well, tonight's gin and tonic is the final track on her very first album "femme" from December 1986, "Setsunasa no Mukougawa". Now, I've always wondered about that word in the title setsunasa and its adjectival form, setsunai. According to, the adjective is defined as "painful", "heartrending" and "suffocating". Hmmm...I think all three of those have different nuances to them, but considering the lyrics by Junko Sato(佐藤純子), I believe I will go with "heartbreaking". So, perhaps the translation of the title can be "Beyond Heartbreak". Plus, a number of pop songs, including a lot of Imai's works, deal with the aftermath of a romantic breakup.

And listening to the gentle melody by Kyoichi Usamoto(宇佐元恭一)along with Imai's just-as-gentle vocals, perhaps I should change that tonic into a chamomile tea. Considering that this was the singer's first album, there is something that sounds quite proto-Imai about "Setsunasa no Mukougawa". Imai's voice sounds even featherier here and the arrangement seems a bit more stripped down with the piano being the most dominant instrument by far. Nope, perhaps it's not on the same level as some of the hit ballads that Imai would sing in the future but considering that it's been 30 years since the release of the album, the song has that pleasant nostalgic air to it. Comfy as a rocking chair.

Ahhh...that Imai smile!

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