If you’re a huge Puri-Puri♥ fan like me then you were definitely chomping at the bit waiting for the release of a new single by former Puri-Puri lead vocalist/guitarist/lyricist & songwriter Kishitani Kaori!!!! The artist formerly known as Okui Kaori (prior to her marriage that is).
“Romantic Warriors” was released on June 25th and while I’m pretty late posting I do happen to have a couple of visual gems ~* to share here which are most worthwhile =).
While it’s been quite a few years since Princess Princess originally disbanded, Kishitani Kaori has remained quite active musically as she’s penned numerous compositions for other artists and continues to do so till this day and yet there’s simply nothing like a new single by this most iconic artist herself and with “Romantic Warriors” it’s also notable that it truly links back to J-pop’s past in more ways than one.
But first, if you’re truly a head over heels Puri~Puri fan like myself and in case you may have missed it, here’s a link to my all inclusive tribute to the legendary and most likely never to be matched group Princess Princess~.
Princess Princess would later regroup in 2012 with proceeds from their tour going to the aid efforts in Japan following their devastating earthquake/tsunami. Full coverage of their later released Budoukan performance on lovely Bluray can be experienced here~.
“Romantic Warriors” is a 3-track single with the title track’s coupling with songs being “Bokura no uta~Kishitani Kaori Version~” and “Aishiteru.”
~Kishitani Kaori “Romantic Warriors” (Music Station live)~
Both the title track and “Bokura no uta” were penned in both lyrics and music entirely by Kishitani Kaori herself with their writing credits dating back to 2009. Above is a bit of a raw recording of her live performance on Music Station and it’s the sound quality that I’m referring to as being a bit raw here, however this rockin’ performance simply trumps any concerns over the sound quality and I find a bit of perhaps a Luna Sea inspiration behind those intricate verse guitar riffs or maybe it’s just me =P but in any case the band is definitely tight with Kaori’s iconic vocals thrusting away!! The song has some of those instant hooks to reel you in pretty immediately and as a whole has a feel very reminiscent of Puri~Puri’s final album “The Last Princess”….as would have fit in perfectly there~.
~Kishitani Kaori “Bokura no uta~Kishitani Kaori version~” mp3~
The last time I can remember being so emphatically excited about an artist recording their own version of a song they’d penned years prior for another artist was when ZARD finally did her own version of one of my all time favorites in “Christmas Time” (posted here previously) and now I’m also reminded of Field of View’s “Kimi ga ita kara” which was written by Sakai Izumi (ZARD) and likewise she also later recorded her very own version of this song or then there’s Deen’s Hitomi sorasanaide where this former rock tune by Deen became an exquisite bossa nova masterpiece in itself when ZARD released her their own version. Songs given a second life, and when done right it can be a most amazing experience to hear an all new interpretation after years of knowing the original so well.
Okay so what does Uchida Yuki have to do with all of this you may be wondering? Well track 3 of “Romantic Warriors” just happens to be a pretty well known song in “Aishiteru” which was originally released in February of 1997 as a Uchida Yuki single and now its co-author has at long last recorded a most awesome version herself!! What is even more notable about this particular song is that the other co-author happens to be Kishitani Kaori’s former band-mate in Nakayama Kanako….Puri Puri’s lead guitarist!!! Here Kishitani Kaori, then Okui Kaori penned the music while Nakayama Kanako penned all of the song’s lyrics! It’s really a pretty song which is catchy from the very first listen or at least that’s how I experienced it all of those years ago =) and I actually could create an entire Uchida Yuki post as I had collected her early works and I just thought of my most favorite song by her from back then…..it’s titled “Shiawase ni naritai”..I wonder if you know that one too? And now I think I’ll go listen to it as I haven’t in quite some time now ^^ .
~Uchida Yuki “Aishiteru” (mv)~
~Kishitani Kaori” “Aishiteru” mp3~
And for comparison sake, above I’ve included both Kishitani Kaori’s version of “Aishiteru” alongside the original by Uchida Yuki from 1997.
The music video’s really cute and has a cool retro feel about it for sure! Uchida Yuki is absolutely adorable here too and as aforementioned I really could create an entire post just about her during her j-pop/ idol/ acting days from yesteryear but for now you if you’re interested you can check out the earliest issue of UTB I own where Uchida Yuki graces its cover and I can’t even begin to tell you just how many magazine covers she was featured on as covergirl♥ back then as there were a ton!!!….well on second thought, think Hirosue Ryoko as a reference to her popularity back then ^^.