WEEKLY

JAPANOPHILE MUSIC FEATURE VOL.1
哈日族流行音樂精選VOL.1

日本的流行音樂的軌跡,從松田聖子派或中森明菜派、過渡至傳奇的小室哲哉時代、到後來日本搖滾樂隊的興起、再到其後Johnny's事務所偶像的誕生,都伴隨著很多代人的成長,亦潛移默化地影響著他們。縱使其後韓流崛起,也絲毫不影響日本作為世界第一大實體音樂市場的地位。日本的流行音樂,被喻為亞洲流行音樂文化的始祖,可謂當之無愧。

不少棋人也是聽日文歌成長的,所以我們特別開設這個日本音樂專題。作為這個專題的Part 1,率先為大家推介個人歌手,大談這些歌手和歌曲如何影響他們。

Lawrence Che – 宇多田光

日本音樂對我的影響非常巨大,它是生活的養份、時代的見證以及階段的記憶。還記得在千禧年,日本音樂經歷改朝換代,領軍人物就是當時的一位天才歌手——宇多田光。R&B 於亞洲的盛世是由宇多田光帶起的,而當時的JR&B確實影響著全亞洲。

宇多田光與很多歌手的經歴不同,她從一岀道就一直處於事業巔峰。時至今日,宇多田光的第一張專輯《First Love》仍然是亞洲最高銷量專輯。另一個紀錄是世界首週銷量最多專輯,這項紀錄至2015年才被Adele所打破。單是這兩項紀錄,也已足夠説服你去留意她的音樂。

宇多田光的音樂風格獨特,充滿創意及意景,人聲處理更如簽名般獨有,細心留意更會發現她對和聲編排的獨到想法。她的音樂創作及編曲擁有一種魔力,能把聽衆送進她獨特的音樂世界。無論你本身喜愛日文歌與否,我深信只要你喜歡音樂,宇多田光都是一個值得鑽進的世界。你會驚訝這個十六歲就處於巔峰的女孩,她所創作的音樂是多少音樂人窮盡一生也未必創作得到的。

還記得當年是1999年,我是一位兼職上門電腦安裝員,長期夥拍一位同事到客戶家安裝電腦。而這一位同事當年每天都在車上播著同一隻CD——宇多田光的 《First Love》。從一開始,她的音樂就令我驚豔。接下來的四年,我差不多每天都在聽這張專輯。我由不懂日文到最後能一字不漏且發音不俗地唱岀整首歌,便知我熱愛這首歌的程度。愛上JR&B是由宇多田光開始,之後亦認識到Misia、Double、小柳由紀、久保田利伸、Sakura、M-flo及Chemistry等歌手。亦正正因為我對日本音樂的熱愛,促使我去應徵澳門電台的日本音樂節目主持,藉以挖掘更多資源去滿足這份熱愛,想不到一眨眼就主持了十多年。這是我與日本音樂所結下的緣,之後亦肯定會繼續探索下去。

推薦歌曲:

(1) 《Time will tell》
創造傳奇的其中一首歌,以十六歲之齢能創作到如此到位的歌曲已屬難能可貴,加上寫下了非常青澀郤帶㸃已經懂了的心情,亦大概只有十六歲的人才能寫得最到位。此曲是我心中的數一數二。

(2) 《Can you keep a secret》
日本史上最高收視劇集《HERO》的主題曲,與劇集完美地影響了一代人,結他部分與歌本身的化學作用很有趣,要聽!!值得一提是MV的概念是與機械人談戀愛,很典型的日式創作,亦引起了當時的熱話。另外片中宇多田光本人是十七歲也是十八歲,因在拍攝期間橫跨了她的生日,故她自己也覺得很有趣。

(3) 《Fly me to the moon》
改編歌很容易「出事」,但擅長創作的宇多田光,改編作品也好像難不到她。我形容為改編了屬於自己的歌。

(4) 《Goodbye happiness》
退出前的最後一首作品,讓粉絲哭過死去活來的還有MV出現了以往MV所出現的東西,還有歌中「不能回到過去」的覺悟。因她很早便出道,沒擁有正常女孩的生活,導致人生上其他部分的缺失,這也是她想退出的其中一個原因。當然,她的退出也很「宇多田光」,沒有宣傳,封面低調,説走就走,沒有預告,天才就是任性。

Melody Lai – 玉置浩二
自1982年發表首張專輯以來,玉置浩二一直於日本流行音樂界中享有殿堂級的地位。無論是作為搖滾樂團「安全地帶」的主唱,以至後期他作個人發展時的成就,都彰顯了他極具震撼性的音樂才華。

他的作品曾經多次被香港、台灣的歌手翻唱發表。其中譚詠麟《酒紅色的心》、張學友的《月半彎》、《李香蘭》、《沉默的眼睛》、李克勤的《藍月亮》、黎明《一夜傾情》、陳慧嫻《痴情意外》等等都是非常具有代表性的粵語翻唱作品。

我是受朋友影響而開始聽玉置浩二的歌。我朋友是音響發燒友,他常常說用玉置浩二的作品可以令音響發揮出高音甜、中音準、低音勁的效果。在我而言,他厚潤的喉底聲線有一種療癒(Healing)及令人放鬆的感覺。不諳日語的我雖聽不懂歌詞,但卻可以從他的演繹聽出當中的故事。

我最愛的是他的個人專輯《玉置浩二 ワインレッドの心》,全張專輯是重新錄製,錄音師強調了他的人聲、呼吸、吞吐及咬字,配合簡單的伴奏,可以讓人暫時放鬆情緒。當中最喜歡的歌曲一定是《あの頃へ》,「不知何時可以帶著你一起去 回到那時候」,他演繹得如此悲慟,抒發一種無法挽回的懺悔之情。那種盪氣迴腸的情感表達,讓我的心情久久不能平復。

(後記:資料搜查過程中,驚喜發現原來日本著名清酒品牌月桂冠釀酒廠曾經用 《あの頃へ》作為其中一產品「花鳥風月」的CM廣告歌。這是一個簡單但意境很美的廣告,而廣告主角更是型男真田廣之。對於同時喜歡此曲及喜歡日本清酒的我而言,也算是一種緣份。
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idLZdL9vGA8

推薦歌曲:
(1)《あの頃へ》

撰文:鍾璐詩、謝復生、黎雅文
相片:網上圖片
美術:王曉澄

J-pop has its track of development. It transited from Seiko Matsuda and Nakamori Akina to legendary era of Tetsuya Komuro. The rise of Japanese rock band later, followed by the launch of idols by Johnny's Entertainment Inc. have been accompanying many generations to grow up and influencing them in a subtle way. Despite the rise of Korean music industry, it does not have the slightest influence on Japan music industry, as the world’s largest solid music market. J-pop, being praised as the ancestor of Asian pop music, is absolutely deserving.

It is observed that quite a lot of Chessmen are Japanophile and grew up with J-pop. And we would love to explore their story with J-pop. Individual pop singers will be first introduced this time. Chessmen will share who they love the most and the influence of these singers and their songs on them.

Lawrence Che - Utada Hikaru

J-pop has brought tremendous influence to me. It acts as nutrients of lives, witnesses of eras as well as memories in different stages. Back in millennium, J-pop has undergone massive change. Led by Utada Hikaru, a genius singer, R&B reached its peak in Asia. Undoubtedly, JR&B at that time was influencing the entire Asia.

Utada Hikaru‘s career is quite different comparing with other singers in which she has been at the peak of her career since her debut. Until today, Utada Hikaru’s first album “First Love” is still the album with the highest sales in Asia. Another world record of “First Love” had been the album with the highest sales in the first week till the year of 2015, when the record was broken by Adele. These two records alone are more than enough to persuade you to pay attention to her music.

Utada Hikaru’s music has her unique style, with high creativity and intensive artistic mood. The vocal processing is exclusive like signature. At the same time, she has her unique thinking in terms of harmonic arrangement. Utada Hikaru’s music has its own charm to bring the listeners into her uncommon music world. No matter you are a J-pop lover or not, I hold a strong belief that it is worthy to dig into Utada Hikaru’s world if you love music. You would be surprised by her who was at the peak of her career when she was just a sixteen years old girl. Even the musicians who have devoted their whole life into creating music may not be able to reach her standard.
Back in 1999, I was a part-time door-to-door computer installer. I had been working with another colleague for quite a long time. At that time, my colleague played Utada Hikaru’s album “First Love” on a daily basis. Her music has amazed me a lot from the very beginning. In the following four years, I listened to that album every day. Not a single word in Japanese did I understand, but I am able to sing out the whole song of “First Love” with good pronunciation, in which it shows my passion towards this song. Since the era of Utada Hikaru, I have fallen in love with JR&B. Later, I got to known other singers such as Misia、Double、Yuki Koyanagi、Toshinobu Kubota、Sakura、M-flo and Chemistry etc. My passion towards J-pop encouraged me to apply for the host of J-pop programme in Macau Radio Station, so as to get more resources to fulfill my passion. In the blink of an eye, I have become the host for more than a decade. It is my fate to intertwine with J-pop and I will definitely explore more in the future.

Suggested songs:
(1) “Time will tell”
It is one of the legendary songs in which Utada Hikaru wrote it when she was sixteen years old, creating a feeling of immaturity with a little bit of understanding. The song is one of my favorite.

(2) “Can you keep a secret”
It is the theme song of《HERO》, the television programme with the highest ratings in Japanese history. The song perfectly combined with the television programme and together they have influenced many generations. The chemical reaction between the part of guitar and the song is interesting. The concept of the music video is about being in a relationship with a robot, which is a very typical Japanese creation and became a hot topic at that time. And one of the funny little behind the scene story is that it was the birthday of Utada Hikaru when they shot the MV of this song, so she is both seventeen and eighteen in the MV.

(3) “Fly me to the moon”
It is difficult to adapt a song. But Utada Hikaru is so good at it and seems that adapting song is not difficult for her. The adapted version of the song has become her own song.

(4) “Goodbye happiness”
It is the last music piece before she stopped her career temporarily on 2011. The music video shows things that appeared in her past music videos, making her fans cry with a great sorrow. The song also conveys the meaning “we can never go back in time.” Since she started her career at a young age, she didn’t own a normal childhood which in turns creates some missing pieces in her life. This is part of the reason of her withdrawal. Her withdrawal also fitted with her own style. The cover is low-profile without any promotion or preview. She made her decision of withdrawal very swiftly. A genius is always capricious.

Melody Lai - Tamaki Koji
Since the launch of his first album in 1982, Tamaki Koji has been having a high reputation in the world of J-pop. His great music talents have been shown in both ways, no matter as a vocalist of the rock band “Anzenchitai” or as an individual pop singer.

His music pieces have been used as cover songs by singers from Hong Kong and Taiwan. The most well-known cover songs in Cantonese include “Heart in the Color of Wine” by Alan Tam, “Crescent Moon”, “Li Xianglan” and “Quiet Eyes” by Jacky Cheung, “Blue Moon” by Hacken Lee, “Fallen in Love on the First Night” by Leon Lai and “Accident of Infatuation” by Priscilla Chan.

I started listening to Tamaki Koji’s music under the influence of my friend. My friend is an audiophile. He has been telling me that Tamaki Koji’s music can bring out the highest quality in terms of treble, alto and bass. The texture of his throat sound can bring a feeling of healing and relax to the listeners. Although I don’t know Japanese, I am able to comprehend the story conveyed in the song from his performance.

My favorite album of him is “Tamaki Koji Wine Red Heart” (ワインレッドの心). The entire album has been recorded again. The recording director emphasized on his sound, breath and pronunciation together with simple accompaniment, soothing the listeners. “At That Time” (あの頃へ) is my favorite song in the album. “I have no idea when I can bring you back to the past.” His way to deliver the song creates a sense of grief and regret. The song is so heartrending in the way that I cannot calm myself after a long time.

(Postscript: During the research, I feel quite surprised to discover that “At That Time” was used by Gekkeikan Sake Company LTD, Japan’s famous sake brand, as a song for advertisements for one of their products. This is a simple advertisement with artistic mood. Hiroyuki Sanada is the main character in the advertisement. It’s a fate that I found the elements that I love—song and sake in the same advertisement.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idLZdL9vGA8

Suggested songs:
(1) 《あの頃へ》

Text: Rose Chung, Lawrence Che, Melody Lai
Photo: Internet
Art: Agnes Wong

ISSUE #147

JAPANOPHILE MUSIC FEATURE VOL.1

 

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