Monday, November 23, 2009

歌と言葉 - Voices and Words


I was looking for some hybrid CD/SACD discs with a beautiful vocal, and came across with an album of Emi Fujita titled “Camomile” that covered excellent ballades of the Beatles, Clapton, and else. For its recording it was said that Mr. Kanai, a Sony audio engineer was involved, and knowing that he is exceptionally detailed in achieving quality, I almost immediately determined to get the album at the Amazon site, but upon checking the sample tracks there, I could not touch the “Purchase” button any more.
It was her English she sang which was beyond my tolerance. She could have sung in the translated Japanese instead. I would say it was like the grade of school kid’s class concert. There were many pros-and-cons opinions posted on the Amazon site, too, but “the essence of a song lies in the lyrics” is my fundamental thought.
Someone may question saying “you mean there is no point in listening to foreign language songs?” I say it is not so because we are quite sensitive to the air of what is going on and also there are voices that can touch your heart. For example, Suzan Boyle sang “I Dreamed a Dream” to move millions of people’s heart in the world and became Cinderella of this year. It was, I believe, because of her ability of interpreting the words in singing in one side and because of the beauty of her voice itself for the other. I am happy to contribute to her better life by buying her first album, especially the more pricy domestic release that features “Wings to Fly” in extra.
“I Dreamed…” is a song in the musical “Les Miserables”, and it exactly can show the absolute value of the lyrics in a song in true sense because it consists of songs with so many words condensed. Listeners could follow them if only the subtitles are given, but the singers cannot sing them without the ability to tell the words.
Among many singers of “I Dreamed a Dream”, the best for me is Ruthie Henshall in the 10th Anniversary Concert in London. Suzan is an excellent amateur while Ruthie is in the totally different class of her own as the true professional.
And finally, back to Emi Fujita, she has an album whose title is something like “A Hearty Table” that I love listening once in a while.

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