10. CRIMSON (1986.12.24)


An awesome kick-off to what would be a grand return to normalcy. But was it really?

MIND GAME in particular relies on some of the tricks slashed through Fushigi. Nakamori is a little soft on the notes while the background singers do a lot of the heavy lifting. The song itself is an excellent groove and really deserving of the top spot on the track list.

02. Eki

The first of five songs on this album written and composed by Mariya Takeuchi. That name is like a dog whistle to Vaporwave dummies fans. She is the wife of also-legend Tatsuro Yamashita. The thing I've noticed between Takeuchi and Yamashita is that they're virtually interchangeable. They kinda sound alike and for quite some time were putting out very similar music. I'm a fan of both! Yamashita's The Theme From Big Wave is one of my favorite songs ever...as is Takeuchi's September and Sweetest Music. It's nice to see a familiar face on board.

Having this knowledge and listening to this song... I find the whole thing a little odd. It was clearly written just for Nakamori as it sounds like a number of her earlier slow songs. That isn't to say that it isn't good, though. It just caught me off-guard. The singing is still just a little bit on the soft side.

03. Yakusoku

Another Takeuchi song. THIS one sounds like a Mariya Takeuchi song. As soon as the guitars kick in, oh yeah...definitely. The still-soft singing fits in perfectly. At this point it becomes pretty clear that this album is going to be mellow. There are some exceptions ahead, but Nakamori is definitely making a conscious effort to sing in something that is barely above a whisper.

04. Pink Champagne

An excellent jazz track. There are some licks of synth tossed in to make things interesting. While this song might not sound like much on the surface, it's one of my favorites from the album.

05. OH NO, OH YES!

While never becoming a single (in fact, none of the songs on this album became a single), this is largely considered the stand-out song from the album. Despite the somewhat doofy title, the way the title is sung is infinitely catchy. Definitely a good one, and obviously another Takeuchi jam. It's a bit on the slower side, but has a pulse to it.

06. Exotica

Another slow song. It has a catchiness to it that makes me wonder if this was ever destined to be a single. The moments that this song does pick up, it's pretty good. I like it overall. It's kinda retro in a way.

07. Mosaic no shiro

This one is my favorite on the album. It's just so weird. The horns, for starters, are awesome. When this song was played live the horns were replaced by guitars. I'm can't decide which I like better.

Regardless, this song has some much needed life to it even if Nakamori's vocals hardly break a whisper as it did in the previous songs. The beat is really strong. While I can't say this album gets an insane amount of play, I do go out of my way to listen to this song regularly.


Time to bring things back down again. Of the slow songs on this album, I think this may be the slowest...or at least the most basic. I like this one, though, it's more R&B but missing a lot of the big instruments. The build-up moments definitely make it memorable.

09. Aka no enamel

The fourth of the five Takeuchi songs. I like it quite a bit, but I always confuse with the single SOLITUDE. They sound quite a lot alike. Kinda errie...though SOLITUDE has this song beat chronologically, so I suppose it's kind of a self-ripoff.

10. Mick Jagger ni hohoemi o

This one is kind of irritating. What would have been a pretty fun party jam is kinda messed up with intermittent sounds of Nakamori typing, drinking, smoking a cigarette, and singing along to a cassette of the song playing. It's weirdly meta...but I just want to listen to the song plain.

The funny thing is, this song is Nakamori breaking out of the shell that she's been in this entire album. I thiiiiink that's what the outside noise is kinda getting at. This is the lone track on the album that she is just belting it. It's out-of-place, but makes total sense with it being at the very end.

It also kinda alludes to the next album, Cross My Palm. The song ends with what is unmistakably the sounds of New York City traffic... Interesting...

Still, I kinda want to hear this song played straight.

OVERALL: In my previous review I took a look at what is an indirect sequel to the Fushigi album. This time I'm looking at the direct follow-up. Honestly, it kinda works well as a follow-up to Fushigi. There is the solid theme of the somewhat obscured vocals as well as having a somewhat consistent staff. I talked about Mariya Takeuchi helming half of the production, but the other half was Akiko Kobayashi. Now, I can't say I'm entirely familiar with her work, but I actually prefer her tracks on this album. Heh.

I also find it just a little bit strange that this album either intentionally or unintentionally set up the next album. Next time...we're going to America! ...(again)...

PREVIOUS: Fushigi (Part 2)
NEXT: Cross My Palm


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