|Hiiro no Kakera
|April 18, 2012
|2. Suki ni Naru to Doushite
|3. Nee (instrumental)
|4. Suki ni Naru to Doushite (instrumental)
Review: When I first started listening to J-pop about five years ago, my friend passed me two songs by Fujita Maiko. (Yes, she has been around that long.) My verdict, which hasn’t changed since, was that they were pleasant, but not particularly memorable. Nonetheless, mediocrity is fine in moderation, and ‘Nee’ is probably Fujita at her best, where she channels the feelings expressed in the lyrics with such heartfelt sincerity that one can’t help but be moved.
‘Nee’ takes advantage of the fragile nature of Fujita’s voice, which expresses the vulnerability one feels when hopelessly in love with another. The simple piano and string accompaniment brings Fujita’s expression to the fore. From the quieter moments of introspection in the bridge, to the chorus where her insuppressible love pours forth, to the ending where she quietly admits to the sole desire to see her beloved, Fujita fully captures the simple yet anxious feelings of love. The only complaint I have is a somewhat strange chord at 3:05, which I presume to be an attempt to change the stagnant chord progression. While I appreciate the effort, that merely sounded awkward.
Moving on to the B-side, ‘Suki ni Naru to Doushite’, where Fujita presents a much more convicted and confident tone. Instrument and structure wise, however, there isn’t an awful lot which separates this from the A-side, or any other of Fujita’s work for that matter. The B-side tries to incorporate more richness into the instrumentals, which generally works well in creating the gentle atmosphere that Fujita’s vocals weave into. Overall, the effect is nice, if not a bit soporific.
This single pretty much encapsulates all that Fujita has done thus far, and all that she is ever likely to do. It is not that she is a bad singer, but the nature of her voice does not allow her to do much more than ballads. And the depressing truth is that unless ballads have phenomenal instrumentals or a phenomenal singer, they usually don’t remain interesting for long. Then again, as someone who would not be able to write a sport or fashion article to save my life, it would be hypocritical to condemn Fujita Maiko for lack of diversity. So after all these rambling, here’s the bottom line: the single is enjoyable as a standalone, so do check it out.