Happy Aloha~♥ Labor Day Weekend Friday~!!
Tonight we’ll be listening to what is actually not a very dated release as it’s actually from just a few years ago and yet it’ll be the focus of tonight’s Idols Unzipped♥ Friday post as it’s featuring an ex~idol who’s career began remarkably over twenty years ago.
First to reiterate, Ishida Miku… gravure idol, actress, model, artist whom became hugely popular as far back as her early teens when she became the very definition and image of the U-15 idol world as she had begun working as a model at the age of just 5.
My very first Miku~chan sighting came from her frequent appearances in idol magazines where she became a regular in the idol publication “Bomb” magazine amongst many others which I had subscribed to and she’s always had an aura of a natural and pure idol with looks as eye catching as any could possess. She left an adorable impression then and yet she was so young then that for me personally she had the makings of an up and comer whom I’d just assume I would see again much later when she’d established herself as a young adult talent.
Miku~chan released a slew of shashinshuu too during her U-15 rule up till her then just 17th birthday also appearing in numerous t.v. dramas, CMs, idol image releases and movies with nothing less than the appearance of a child prodigy in the entertainment business whom would grow up before us step by step with the enlightenment of a career light years ahead of maturity and yet so established when so early in youth.
I remember last seeing Miku~chan as an actress in the long running and popular drama series Kinpachi Sensei, and then in what seemed like a moments notice of just three years later she was all but gone from her career with a sudden retirement which was as unexpected as any could’ve been. Miku~chan would change her life goals then pursuing a career in music where she’d be most involved in the musical aspects.
Thinking back it was just about a year and a half removed from her high school graduation when her announcement came and till this day at now just 25 years of age Miku~chan maintains a most private life far outside the spotlight and tabloids all despite her prominence just a few years prior.
Miku~chan’s music career began with the release of her very first single titled “With…” and continued into the summer of 2011 with her latter releases being under an indies label. She would also continue with live performances into the winter of 2011.
So tonight we’ll be listening to Ishida Miku’s debut music release (going under “Miku” for her music) titled “With…” which is listed as a maxi single but rather may appear as a mini album as it contains 4 different tracks with no karaoke versions included. “With…” was released on June 2nd, 2010 just about two years after she’d retired from acting and with this music project it’s clearly evident just how driven and involved she had been in pursuing a musical career as she not only is credited with writing the lyrics entirely for three out of the four tracks which is most impressive as lyrics are never second fiddle to musical compositions in the regards that they often lay down the rhythmic tone and nuances within a song as well as their central place in telling a story or emotion which is the heart and soul of a song, but Ishida Miku’s additionally and interestingly also listed in the production notes under a pseudonym crediting her to the piano and keyboards heard on all four tracks here and whether that be an error in some sort of way I’m not entirely sure but it’s surely presented in that context.
~Ishida Miku “With…”~
There’s a distinct 60’s feel to “With…” and especially in the those intervals of electric guitar which intro in the song and I can’t help but imagine a Rickenbacker being played as there’s that familiar tone made famous by the likes of Roger McGuinn and countless others and you’ll readily notice just how perfectly the instrument mix is here with a such a clarity of sounds with none overpowering the other as Miku leads in with strong vocals which are very much unique. While I’ve heard Miku speak on numerous occasions going way back to her drama acting days I’ve never imagined what her singing voice could be like so here it’s instantly a revelation of sorts hearing her transform from dialogue to melody and it’s most sweet with a heartwarming tone to it…also notable is Miku’s vocal range which is further explored on the upcoming three tracks.
~Ishida Miku “Namida no wake”~
(“Meaning of tears”)
“Namida no wake” is a perfect mid tempo folk~rock song and I especially love the rapidly rhythmic vocal lines pre~chorus which lead to a beautifully soaring chorus. Here even the piano tones have a lovely retro sound to them that I can’t quite describe but perhaps it’s in the manner of method of how the instrument was recorded perhaps?
~Ishida Miku “Suteki na ryoku”~
“Suteki na ryoku” is lively and bouncy pop~rock, and there’s a much more aggressive projection of Miku’s vocals particularly during the chorus sections and remember the sometimes lost art of the bridge of songs? While some songs today tend to omit that perfectly transitioning section of songs where a song’s melody and feel are typically most dramatically changed, here it occurs post guitar solo and leads us perfectly back into the final chorus.
~Ishida Miku “So ra shi do re mi fa”~
A perfect bookending song as “So ra shi do re mi fa” closes with a retro~pop~rock inspired arrangement with a lovely bluesy feel to the guitars riffs all the while the acoustics of the piano, guitars and accordion alike, keep a folksy feeling setting the table for Miku’s lovely felt vocals.
~YS Web gravure~