Updates from Tokyo: Folk Akina フォークソング

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.

dannybunny

Akina fanboy since 14. Still undecided which are his top ten favourite Akina tracks as it's mission impossible. Digs "Everlasting Love" a whole lot more than the average Akina fan.

13 thoughts on “Updates from Tokyo: Folk Akina フォークソング

  1. Fantastic report… You are right that we are lucky to still have Akina’s new material.

    WE (not just me) look forward to here your dinner show report. 🙂

  2. I’m a little behind I guess but “rumoured throat operation,” was it polyps? Does anyone know for sure if she had one?

    I can’t wait to get this album!!!!

    Dawn

  3. Wow!!
    So nice of you to share this with us all!
    Really~~ And lucky u to have listened to the album already!
    And lucky us to be shared by your info! =)
    ARRHHH (envy!)

    I haven’t ordered the album yet because I don’t know how many versions I will be getting.
    The CD+DVD one for sure and then perhaps another cover. What a dilemma!
    Why on earth, 5 freakin versions! Sheesh! There goes part of my yearly bonus!
    But your “orange & green” one I will certainly take in to consideration!
    I am excited ! Can’t wait to listen to the songs!
    Thanx again!

    (Gotta go order now~~ Mostly from hmv japan. Anyone ordered it from somewhere else??)

    Oh~~ Can I have a postcard too!! =P

  4. Good job Danny, wonderful report.. Last time I mentioned about Akina got throat operation is because she got 長繭..
    Dont forget to show us the postcard you got.. I wanna see…

  5. Akina’s FOLK songs cover album debuts at 11th position on Oricon Daily Chart dated 22nd Dec! HURRAY!

  6. I’ve got “Complete Vol. 1” version A and 通常盤, a postcard also.
    I wish you a Merry Christmas~!

  7. I got mine today from HMV Japan.
    You get a postcard (same cover as the regular edition) for each CD you buy.
    I bought Limited Edition A (CD+DVD) and Limited Edition B.
    So two postcards for me~~

    Yeah! =)
    To save some $$$, I personally think that it’s really not necessary to order the regular edition. You get the postcard anyways and I think the contents of all inserts are the same. (I am debating whether or not to open version B)
    And yeah, the DVD sux. It contains 3 tracks but the songs are not complete. A disappointment for me. I kinda want to see Akina talk a little about the album.

  8. Thanks Danny. Can’t wait for the photos and Thank you for risking your pride just to make all of us happy. I wonder if the shop assistant is telling you off because you didn’t take any photos of their mega stands for Ayu and Koda, who both have new releases, but which are both such marketing products.

    I agree with you on all that you have said. On first listen, my faves are 「「いちご白書」をもう一度」, 「雨の物語」, 「さよならをするために」, 「わかってください」 and 「恋」After repeated listens, I love the album more and more. I think it is a great album and I believe Ted, who loves Enka, will probably like this very easily too.

    The only track that I am a little apprehensive is Track 7 – 冬が来る前に because she chooses to sing in that high note, which I don’t really like. Maybe it is just that I am waiting for the straining to appear, but it doesn’t, thankfully.

    As Jen mentioned, the DVD is so insignificant. “Why bother?”, I’d say. I received the postcard too, which was very pretty as compared to the Cover A that I bought.

    I also realised that it is probably a good thing that so many people have different favourites. This means that there is something for everybody, which is probably a indicator of a good album.

  9. Oops! I forgot to comment on the Vol 1. I think this is what will happen:

    Vol 2: Mood Akina

    Vol 3: New Music Akina

    Oh my God, I am really dreaming hard on her covering Miyuki and Yuming numbers. LOL.

  10. So basically, the DVD is like this again?: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDCQ7hZymV0

    Oh boy… god forbid if she was to actually tell how she feels about the songs, why exactly those songs, why the arrangements/way of singing, what was challenging, why the cover, why the volumes… perhaps she’s afraid she’ll run out of things to say for the concerts lol?

    I also like how “confident” she feels about this release by not providing even the slightest preview material on her website. She’s certainly traveled back in time with this release.

    Oh well, I’ll be buying the A jacket in a few days then when CDJapan’s supposed discount kicks in (yen is looking so horrid eek).

    Thanks danny!

  11. I bought version B in Hong Kong today. The owner said it is hard to get the regular version so it is HKD30 higher than version B-D. I wonder if the inserts are all the same. If they are, the regular verison will just get one extra photo which is the cover. Maybe the print of regular version is limited so it is hard to order from Japan. I like the design of type B and the color arrangement. Unfortunately, I don’t get the postcard. Maybe if anybody has extra copies, they can sell it to me.

  12. I finally received my copy too. Can’t say much about the songs themselves yet, but I’m a bit disappointed with the production/mixing on this album as I find it extremely dull and lacking of any real atmosphere. The sound is pretty similar to Ballade Best tracks which I also considered to be atmosphere killers back then, especially Nanpasen and Kisei. As I prefer the 2003 live version of SOLITUDE to the 2007 studio ver. and the same with ‘I hope so’ material, which also sounds pretty similar to this album, I’m now really hoping for a video release of this coming tour. I’d expect the live soundscape to be much more fitting for these songs. Still, I hope the best for her with this album.

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