First Look: Nana Mizuki – Eden

I am currently in the process of migrating over to a new hosting platform, where I have started a new blog. For now, I will release my posts both here and on the new domain, but soon I will only post over there. So make sure to add the new blog to your bookmarks. 😉 Thank you!

My biggest problem with most of Nana Mizuki’s singles is that, while the songs are good, they are usually right in the middle of her safe zone. You can always predict what the song is going to sound like to some degree – and at least a few of them have somewhat linked together to form one long, samey track in my mind. Now the first surprise in ages comes from the one place you’d least expect: a mid-winter single.

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The video for Eden (エデン) features an unusual setting as far as Nana Mizuki’s music videos go. A down-to-earth video, set not in some abstract/medieval/futuristic/time-frozen space, but in a modern city and natural locations, it shows Nana singing on a rooftop amongst the lights of a city at night, behind a frozen-over window and in a (studio set of a) park as the leaves are falling all around her. Might this be a first stage in a reinvention towards a more conventional image now that she has achieved what seems like the most mainstream success an anison singer could ever hope to achieve without bowing to trends?

The song itself certainly seems to imply change. The arrangement is heavy in percussion and background vocals, with the usual guitar and strings backings pushed further into the back. There’s some neat little surprises here and there, particularly in the sections following each chorus and the second verse, set against staccato guitar chords and a playful piano. At no point does she lose herself or her style entirely though, rather fusing it uniquely with a distinctly lonely, yet warm feeling that is so typical of Japanese ballads. The end result? It’s rather triumphant.

Good job, Nana, for delivering a gorgeous winter track.

And great job, Nana’s production team, for making sure this single will be remembered by her fans and the casual J-Pop audience alike by creating one of the most endearing solitary ballads J-Pop has seen in a while.

Eden is out 14.01.2015 and can be purchased here.

I am currently in the process of migrating over to a new hosting platform, where I have started a new blog. For now, I will release my posts both here and on the new domain, but soon I will only post over there. So make sure to add the new blog to your bookmarks. 😉 Thank you!

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