Hey guys!! This is Danny reporting from Tokyo! Sorry this took a day longer than planned cos I had so much work to clear after the Dinner Show last night and by the time I finished, I crashed.
Anyhow, the bad news first – my new memory card reader requires an adaptor and I didn’t bring it. =( So I will not be able to upload any pictures taken so far. Gomenasai. I’ll upload them when I return, of if I can lay my hands on an adaptor here.
But I thought I’d still go ahead with a text report for you eager beavers. 😉
FOLK AKINA COMPLETE VOL.1
The official album release date is 24th December, X’mas Eve… which is today. But 2 days ago, Ranbi-san managed to lay his hands on a copy in the morning when doing his round of shopping (the CDs haven’t been displayed and were still in the box), and he brought it over to our room as a breakfast surprise for Kenji and myself. He got the Pink limited edition press that comes with the DVD (seeing it in the flesh, cover is still hideous). We watched the DVD first – It was the usual lame visuals of her recording the songs in the studio… there was a selection of about 4 songs.
Onward with the album – my personal verdict for it is this will be both a shower and grower. It should go down very well with fans. No major frills nor surprises there, but in return she offers this mature piece of work which is musically solid which has the stamp of an evergreen classic. She sounds slightly different (as with many of her previous releases cos her vocals keep changing, deteriorating, improving, and she also adapts her singing style to suit her altered pipes) but this time, you’ll agree she sounds better, with more clarity and less strain. I wonder if she did go for the rumoured throat operation, and if this was the result. =)) Emotionally, well, Akina never fails to nail them right?
Upon the first listen, you should have a couple of instant favourites. Mine were “さよならをするために” and “恋”. But, upon a few more spins, you’ll start to fall in love with other tracks which are beautifully restrained in their execution. I am enjoying “「いちご白書」をもう一度” now. I know Ranbi and Jamez both love this classic which has been covered to the nines by other artistes, both were apprehensive about matching their favourite singer to this number, BUT, Miss A doesn’t disappoint. DJ Suzy’s favourite track is “22才の別れ” (she sounds different on this track, almost like she’s singing right next to you, the vocals are super organic) . So there, all good tracks. And we’re bound to end up discovering a new favourite 2 years down the road… on some rainy lonesome night… (sidenote: I got struck by “Standing In Blue” from Cruise a decade older… a song which I used to skip… on a cool, quiet night by myself)
The Original Press looks the best. The Limited Editions – all hideous, but if I were to pick the worst one outta the dismaying lot, it’ll be the orange and green one. the CDs match the colour of the covers, as well as the print on the back (which is different from Original Press). Booklet photos should be the same if I’m not wrong, and are tastefully done. A mixture of shots of her in the studio together with some macro shots of recording equipment/studio.
They were selling the CDs at the Dinner Show (I scooped all versions – Can you tell I really love this woman? I blow my hard earned cash on pieces of Andy Warhollyshit!) and you get a poster (the same one which appeared on the TV programme). If you get the CD in the store, you’ll get a postcard. I have so many posters now. Any takers?
At Yamano CD store in Ginza tonight, I was mega pleased to see a prominent set up for the release (I took some great shots dun worry! But I got told off by the store attendant whilst in Operation Sneakaround.) There was even a TV screen showing the promo clip for the album (basically the 4 min clip from the DVD with text overlay).
Both Anthony and myself agree that the subtitle “Complete Vol.1” is rather redundant. Is there an incomplete version in the first place? It all depends on how she’s going to position the upcoming Mood Kayou album. Will that be “Complete Vol.2” then?
In summary, I’m heartened that Akina continues to make music for the soul. There will be no one else who can fill the thirst and void I have in my system, after spinning the Seikos and Ayumis in this world. Not even the Kobukuros.
Thank you for the wonderful X’mas pressie, Akina. I love you.