Ever since I’ve heard 恋する惑星 (Koisuru Wakusei) in full, I’ve been hoarding any カネコアヤノ (Ayano Kaneko) CDs I could find. The thing which I decided to skip on was last year’s LP, 群れたち (Mure Tachi). I’m becoming more and more of a collector, but I still haven’t got round to purchasing a turntable, so I decided against ordering a vinyl recording, only for the sake of having it. The moment it sold out, I’ve already regretted my decision… Thankfully, Kaneko actually released the album again in February, this time in the CD format.
The lack of English information/news about this lovely artist, and purely depending on my extremely limited Japanese and Google Translate to find the info sucks, but I’m slowly getting hang of it.
A glimpse into what the hug tour was like
So, 群れたち (Mure-tachi) isn’t exactly brand new stuff. The CD version consists of 2 discs. The first one is a remastering of hug EP from 2016 (the second goodie I do not own physically unfortunately, as it sold out way before I thought about getting it). It offers completely stripped-down, intimate sound, only acoustic guitar and Kaneko’s voice.
The second CD is much richer when it comes to the use of instruments. It includes newer, post-hug songs – two of them – コンビニ (Konbini) and さよーならあなた (Sayounara Anata) previously appeared on Koisuru Wakusei album and Sayounara Anata EP respectively, the other five are entirely fresh tunes. Compared to the LP’s B-side, this CD has a bonus 7th track.
どこかちょっと(Doko ka chotto) – is a beautifully mellow and relaxing number. Hawaiian vibe is strong in this one.
ロマンス宣言 (Romansu sengen) – The Go-Go’s sang ‘We Got the Beat’. And damn, this song has it all. The rhythm is just perfect – one of the reasons why I like Japanese or Korean rap is that although the words very often don’t even rhyme, MCs manage to create such incredible flow, making use of the accentuation and pitch of the syllables. Kaneko and the instruments fuse. Also some guitar licks sounds sort of Indian? Good stuff.
さいごのいきのこり – I love this track. It sounds a lot like early 吉田拓郎 (Takuro Yoshida), legendary folk rock bard from the 70s – he’s possibly best known to some audiences for his 人間なんて (Ningen Nante) aka ‘Humming song’, which appeared in Cromartie High School anime. If you like folk rock, you might wanna check him out. I digress.
Snappy guitar, yet still melodious, passionate vocals, one of the faster-tempo songs Ayano Kaneko has done.
旅行 (Ryokou) – a short bonus song, ending the album on the acoustic note. It reminds me of different Kaneko’s piece, きみをしりたい (Kimi o shiritai). As I’ve started learning to play the guitar last year, some of those songs seem like fun things to try out.
The other CD I got is the 2nd edition of Sayounara Anata. This version was made available through major retailers like Amazon, HMV and CDJapan. The CD contains same tracks as the original, but it received new jacket and inside art, and if I understand correctly the songs were remastered. I ordered the first edition of the EP through proxy shipping from official Ayano Kaneko website, but of course it’s no longer available. I’m checking up on that site regularly, as half of the releases have limited number of copies, and they don’t get nationwide distribution. Be it a jpop girlband or indie folk singer-songwriter, it’s hard making it in such a competitive music industry like the Japanese one. Or, more likely, it’s hard making it anywhere.
Coming here soon, the review of April 25th Ayano Kaneko’s newest proper album, 祝祭 (Shukusai)!