Kenchana ~Daijoubu~?

Maeda Yuki's latest single is bordering on release, with only 4 days left before we can get our hands on it, what do I think of her new single?

I've been something of a Maeda Yuki fan for some time. Enka isn't something I go out of my way to buy normally, but I do love the genre. And while Maeda Yuki's songs tend to be more along the lines of Enka/Pop/Rock... I find them to be wonderfully satisfying.

This song, though, I found didn't quite satisfy that hunger the same way. This Enka/Ballad, it has charm, and Maeda's voice is beautiful as always, but I found the song didn't have that kick to it. Her last single, Ai Ai Daikou, was much stronger, with booming drums and powerful singing on Maeda's part, Kenchana ~Daijoubu~ just feels incredibly empty in comparison. And that's not just because it's a ballad, I'm a fan of them, Goto Maki's best songs were ballads, in my opinion. But at the same time, this kind of ballad just seems a little removed from the kind of songs were used to hearing from her.

I wonder where the idea for this came from. Could it be that her poor sales figures have prompted the agency to try something different? If that's the case I suggest that they try something else, because I don't see this single going much further than any of her previous songs. And then, who knows? Maybe it's opened up to a new audience and it'll go prove me wrong. And believe me, I hope I am wrong, because I'd love to see her gain in popularity. Too few people know of her and her music. That has to change.

In the last few days, we finally got to see the PV for this single appear on Dohhhup! Unfortunatly, the PV is just as forgettable as the song. It is, however, consistant. The PV seems to be trying to take that traditional enka feel and put a bit of a more modern theme in there. One of the first things we see is Maeda walking through, what I assume is, a mountain temple in a cream jacket. This just makes her seem incredibly out of place, which I hope wasn't the intended effect because it's an awful idea. We then see her singing in front of a brick wall. I don't know which was duller, the wall or her dress. After, we see her sitting down at a table in this brick celler, looking at old photos by candelight. I kind of like that little scene there, it kind of puts the loneliness of the whole video into some kind of context, further expressed in the following scene where she stares thoughtfully out onto a mountain lake. Finally, we see her back at the temple, take a picture with her camera, I assume to add another memory to her little collection, and then walk off. That's really as interesting as this video goes.

This is one single I won't be buying. Unfortunate, considering how much I like Maeda Yuki. I guess I was waiting for an explosion that didn't happen.

That said, if you liked the song, then I'd encourage you to go buy it. Seems it even comes with a remix where some of the song is sung in Korean. If this were a better song, I'd eat that oppertunity up in an instant. But I feel it will sound just as dull in Korean as it did in Japanese. I guess I'll wait to hear the c/w before even contemplating buying this.

01. Kenchana ~Daijoubu~
02. Seoul no Ame
03. Kenchana ~Daijoubu~ (Japanese + Korean Mix Version)
04. Kenchana ~Daijoubu~ (Original Karaoke)
05. Kenchana ~Daijoubu~ (Half tone lower Karaoke)
06. Seoul no Ame (Original Karaoke)

Buy from CDJapan | YesAsia

I don't know about you, but I'm off to listen to Ai Ai Daikou.


Yankii Heart said...

At last... a new song for her.

Maeda Yuki really sings well... but she is not promoted as she should be T_____T...

Song sounds a little Nakazawa-ish, don't you think?

Dran said...

You're right. She does lack the promotion that the younger idol groups like Berryz or Morning Musume get. And it's a shame, because she does have an excellent voice, and a talent that has been pretty much wasted for the last few years.

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