January 21, 2010

The Two Sides Of Emi Fujita. Camomile Best Audio & Kokoro No Shokutaku.

Emi Fujita is many audiophile's favorite girl & guitar artist, that much, I can attest to based on my many home visits, most host would some how invariably play at least one Emi Fujita song. It's normally either the ever popular All My Loving or Desperado, or both!

Camomile Best Audio.

I believe is a sort of "the best of" compilation of Emi Fujita's earlier efforts. Most songs are conservatively arranged, typically Japanese style when they remake a song. Emi is mostly backed by a trio or quartet of musicians, but I personally feel that she really comes in to her own when doing just plain girl & guitar. Most songs that I like tend to be of this arrangement.

Here's the few tracks that I liked.
Track 1) And I Love You So
Track 3) First Of May
Track 4) All My Loving
Track 6) Desperado
Track 9) Proud Of You
Track 10) Longer
Track 11) Today
Track 12) Walking On Air
Track 15) Wide Awake

Looks like quite a list? Yeah, there's 17 tracks in total to choose from!

Kokoro No Shokutaku - Okaeri Itoshiki Utatachi.

This is Emi's all Japanese album, released in 2008. As I do not exactly understand Japanese 100%, I can't list down the track titles that I like. However, I will instead focus on the overall "feel" of the album.

I find Emi to be very naturally relaxed, singing in her native language. There's a sense of calmness and ease, not found on her English songs. She give feelings of intimacy, despite the language barrier, she some how still manages to emotionally engage me in all the right moments. Emi doesn't stray too far from her usual style, and can sound immediately familiar to her fans. I also thought this album's presentation from song to song to be very even in quality and style signature. Some tracks may seem very familiar only because that they've been covered by either Canto Pop or Taiwanese singers prior listening to this. I must also point out that track 4) is some kinda special(from the point of historical references), as the song features a Chinese Erhu instrument in the back, which is very well recorded, without the usual sibilance found on Chinese recording of the Erhu. I think the Japanese recording engineers got it just right here, giving the Erhu just enough presence within the sound stage but never too forward to cause any sibilance.

On both my Hybrid SACD samples which are manufactured in Japan, the sound quality is first rate, with excellent clarity and low noise floor allowing the vocals and musical instruments to seemingly pop out of the back ground, with great presence. Little wonder, I was told, that Sony audio engineers used these two albums as their sound references, when testing and finalizing their SACD/CD player tuning in the Japanese R&D laboratories!

Both albums offer lite and easy arm chair listening moods, and if language and song familiarity is your thing, then Camomile Best Audio certainly won't disappoint. But if one is an Emi Fujita fan, and want to hear her native side, Kokoro No Shokutaku is worthwhile. Pick your poison, or better, if you're a fan of Emi Fujita, just get them both!

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