09a. Fushigi (1986.08.11)

01. Back door night

Your first thoughts might be... What the...?

OK, so putting this album's little party trick aside, there is one big BIG difference right off the bat. The incredible richness of the music. You're immediately hit with just a gigantic wave of sound...deep, deep, heavily produced sound.

Then, the vocals kick in and they're almost indecipherable.

Once you get over that, you'll notice that...you're really digging this.

02. New Generation

From here, the album doesn't let up one bit. The same muddled lyrics, and the same rich sounding band. I should probably talk about the band. While the album is the debut of Akina Nakamori as a producer, the band that is spear-heading the majority of the tracks is EUROX. I have quite a bit to say about EUROX, but I think I'll save that for my dissection of this fine album in my next post.

As for New Generation, it's not a favorite from the album, but it's a great song.

03. Labyrinth

Great track. Labyrinth has this incredible, and yet subtle, guitar work sprinkled in. The vocals are a bit more distorted in this track...and the background singers aren't distorted at all. What a weird concept...

04. Marionette

This is easily my favorite track here. The beat is just so damn heavy, and the lyrics are a smidge clearer. This song, while never becoming a single in it's own right, seemed to be the one chosen to promote the album in TV appearances. Of all of the songs from this album, this is the one that seems to have survived the test of time.

Just when you think this song can't get any cooler...BAM electric violin. Not once, but twice to close the whole thing out.

05. Genwaku sa sete

While it's kinda off to a slow start, I dig the slickness of it all. This is kinda this album's idea of a slow song. Heh. Extra-heavy on the vocal distortion.

06. Glass no kokoro

While EUROX didn't compose this or the next two songs, they're clearly playing on them. The vocals on this album are meant less as a means to deliver the lyrics as they are to complement the music. This song really is the only time on this album when it would probably make a little more sense if it were sung normally. That's a story for next time...

07. Teen-age blue

Everything is back on form with this one. Nakamori's vocals are kinda clear this time around, but there are a few moments when she is hidden behind some of the band.

08. Okibi

This is an incredibly slick track. Once again, you can kinda make out the lyrics.

09. Wait for me

EUROX is back in charge. The big tell is that the bass is heavier. While this one is infinitely catchy, the bass juts out just a little bit too much over everything else. If you were in the room while this song was being performed, it's as is you were standing in from of the bassist's amp.

Love this one, but there is more to the story next time...

10. Mushroom Dance

I'm going to be brave and say that this is my second favorite song on the album. It's weird...and hidden at the end, but I still love it.

This song really amps up the energy for the big finale. The synths are especially on point. Not only that, but the vocals oscillate from incredibly distorted to almost clear. This is kinda the whole album in a nutshell. Combine that with some faux-Flock-Of-Seagulls-I-Ran guitar licks, and this song is the perfect way to go out. Underrated!

OVERALL: This album is kinda legendary in the JPOP world. It made Number #1 for a few weeks, but not before confusing the hell out of people who bought it. Honestly, the tale has been told many times and I would be doing a great disservice if I didn't link to this article from AV Music. It sums up the whole affair nicely.

My personal thoughts on the album? It lives up to the hype. I'm not going to say whether or not it's my favorite album from Nakamori or any other artist for that matter, but it's definitely an album that not only requires multiple evaluations, but more research into the life these songs lived after this album baffled a nation.

I do just that in Part 2...

NEXT: Fushigi (Part 2)


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