Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Enka song reviews part 2

Here are some more great enka songs. The more I listen to enka, the more I get hooked to it. The depressing and wistful lyrics and the soaring, lush melody are just a great combo. I'm just cursing myself for not knowing about enka earlier.

Moshikashite part 2 (Perhaps part 2)

A popular enka hit by Kobayashi Sachiko. It is intended to be a duet. Akina Nakamori and The Checkers covered the song once. The song is generally mid tempo and switches between male and female parts. The chorus is not too high or prominent but the song is pleasant to listen to. Akina and Fuji Fumiya's version was amusing. Kobayashi Sachiko sings the song well.

Kanashii Sake (Sad sake)

Another popular hit by Hibari Misora. It is very low and doesn't rise very much at any point. The song means 'sad sake'. The song as the title suggests is depressing and melancholic. Hibari sings it in her unbelievably low voice and does justice to the song. The song gives a feeling of sadness and loss. There are some talking parts in the middle but the sad instrumental continues throughout those parts and maintains the flow of the song. It has been covered by many singers including Akina Nakamori. The only thing is that the volume has to be high in order to hear this song. It is so low that it is inaudible at low volume. The song is very emotional especially the version by Hibari Misora.

Toki no nagare ni mi wo makase (Let it depend on the flow of time)

Another popular enka hit that was sang by Teresa Teng- a popular chinese singer. She gained a lot of fame in Japan and this is considered her signature song. The chorus is prominent in this song. It is pretty much an average enka song. It has been covered a lot, most recently by Tokunaga Hideaki in his Vocalist album. A pleasant song to listen to again and again.

Sukiyaki/ Ue wo muite arukou (I walk looking up)

Originally titles 'Ue wo muite arukou' is a popular single by Kyu Sakamoto that sold over thirteen million overseas and hit #1 on Billboard making it the highest charting japanese song in America. The song contains only one verse or chorus whatever you'd like to call it, which repeats indefinitely. It starts out with whistling which sounds refreshing. Kyo Sakamoto's voice is suited to the light atmosphere of the song. The song is pleasant and breezy. It sounds like a light song somone would hum while walking down the street.

Sen no Kaze ni Nattte (I am the thousand winds that blow)

This is a recent enka song that was recorded by Akikawa Masafumi. It is based on a poem by Mary Elizabeth Frye titled 'Do not stand at my grave and weep'. The poem is very good and so are the lyrics but the lyrics lack the rhythm. The song was however, very good. It starts out with a piano prelude followed by Akikawa Masafumi's powerful, enka vocals. Akikawa Msafumi's voice overpowers the instruments but the song is a powerful enka ballad. Overall, I found it very powerful and captivating.

Momen no Hankachifu (Cotton handkerchief)

I don't know if this one can be categorised as enka but it sounds like enka. It was sugn bu Ohta Hiromi in 1975. It became her signature song. The lyrics talk about a person who has gone to the city and communicates to a loved one through this song. The songwriter starts by saying goodbye and transitions to talking about sending mementos from the city. Later, the person talks about how innocent the lover is who doesn't put on make up. The songwriter becomes a part of the city and tells the lover that he is never coming back and requests the lover to send a cotton handkerchief for wiping tears. The song sounds like a typical old song with Ohta Hiromi's slightly nasal voice. The song doesn't have a prominent chorus and the same paragraph repeats four times. A pleasant summer song. The mp3 is a cover version by rock band Ikimono Gakari. Though it doesn't have the 'enka' feel, the melody is the same.

Be sure to try out some of these wonderful songs.

Bargains- Playasia or Yesasia will probably sell these. Try CD japan.

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