[Mini-Album] Mika Nakashima – Oborodzukiyo~Inori (Limited)

Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Oborodzukiyo ~Inori is Mika Nakashima's 2nd mini-album which released at September 15, 2004 and limited to only 111,000 copies. The title track later appears on her MUSIC album. Oborodzukiyo~Inori translated to 'A Misty, Moon-lit Night ~Prayer'. This mini-album reached #3 on Oricon charts, selling 93,000 copies in its first week. The title track was used as the Sokenbicha CM song, and was recorded with Japanese violinist Hakase Taro.

Oborodzukiyo~Inori is an amazingly beautiful song. Nakashima converted a folk song into a very beautiful piece of music. Actually, I didn't like Nakashima's vocal. But, I was completely wrong. Her vocal sounded really gorgeous here. Talking about the music, oh my god, it's so damn beautiful. Koto, percussion, acoustic guitar, some electronic effect and the strings mixed in a genius harmony. It's the best ethnical song I've ever heard. This song is even better than my old favorite Shinjitsu no Uta. The overall presentation is just stunning. The violin solo is also the best I can hear from Japanese music.

After the stunning title track, I was shocked when I hear the sitar intro of Sara. I didn't expect a middle-eastern influenced track here. Every piece of instruments was set to fit the middle-east theme, even the strings. I really enjoy the music. The strings were so playful, like her song Love No Cry from the LOVE album. In the song, there were some silences put which make the song a pure musical amusement.

Nakashima just keep on experimenting. Tsuki no Sabaku, AFAIK, is her first blues song. The song is in a mellow tune. The overall song was just vibrant and fitted Nakashima's vocal perfectly. The strings and saxophone added a misty, sand atmosphere. I love the improvisation made by the saxophone. Although this song runs about 40 seconds longer than Oborodzukiyo~Inori, the overall atmosphere presented was just kept me listening to this song.

Yuki no Hana (silent version) continued the mellow vibe from the previous track. This is probably Nakashima's most-known song. Accompanied only by a piano and a violin, the raw emotion from Nakashima really shines here. Her vibrato may be off-tone sometimes. But, it couldn't hide a fact that this song is even better than the original one. It was just more sad, depressing, yet hopeful.

We're near the end of the mini-album, but Oborodzukiyo~Inori (acoustic mix) still gives us the goodness of Japanese folk song. The acoustics, koto and violin has even more spotlight here (also Nakashima's vocal, of course). In a good note, the emotion in the verses was clearly visible. But, I was somewhat disappointed because they removed that gorgeous violin solo by Hakase Taro in this version. There was still a big dynamical difference between the second verse and the last chorus. Still, it was an excellent addition to this so-far amazing mini-album.

Not over, an electronic jazz remix of the second track namely Sara (Jazztronik mix) showed up. At first, this remix may be pretty annoying because its constant beat. Next part of the remix may be pretty nice. But, it becomes even more annoying when the vocal being 'chopped' and scattered EVERYWHERE. Luckily, the remix still kept the strings part at the bridge. This remix sadly made my overall perception on this mini-album decreased, but not slightly.

And YES! Nakashima included the instrumental of Oborodzukiyo~Inori here. It's very essential for me to sing with.

Conclusion: By far, this is the best mini-album I ever know. Nakashima put her best effort in this musically colorful mini-album. This mini-album instantly converted me to be her fan. Nakashima, I demand another fantastic mini-album like this to be sold UNLIMITED, because the price of this mini-album is in unreasonable nowadays for a poor student like me XC.

Mini-album grade: 100/A++


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