3 out of 5
Label: Avex Trax
Produced by: 亀田誠治, ?
Two fun, pop-oriented tracks from 靖子*, backed by a fairly slight, but soothing, acoustic track.
As usual, my mileage on these might differ if I understood the lyrics (reading translations secondhand still doesn’t necessarily connect 1:1 while I’m listening), but, also as usual, 大森’s delivery is perfect for the mood for which a track aims – so it’s friendly and bouncy on our opening singles, and very quiet and frail on the closer.
The openers are a lot of fun, they’re just 靖子 in streamlined pop mode, which she does excellently, for sure, but it’s a little harder to differentiate these songs from one another when they’re stacked up side by side. 愛してる.com has a jaunty piano backing and some great vocal layering, but 劇的Joy!ビフォーアフタ wins out as the more essential track, since it has a ton more going on, and also is a better example of 靖子’s originality, as it evolves from its boppiness to feel a bit more unleashed.
*I’m still trying to figure out what the “best” way to talk about Japanese artists, whether using English approximations or the kanji. There’s no offense intended with what I’m doing here – which is essentially how I’d refer to 大森靖子 when Romani-cized, i.e. sans honorifics. So I’m basically just swapping in the Japanese characters, but still talking like an ignorant American. I’ve generally avoided honorifics because I feel like I’m doing it wrong, but I should read up more about it so that I’m going with the most respectful way of referring to these artists. Also, the production credit is listed with an additional question mark because Discogs only has 亀田誠治 as the producer for the first song.