Hear The Track HereHang around long enough on the internet and you are likely to review just about everybody - or at least that's my excuse. Moreover, hang around even longer than that and you may get to review their children too, as is the case here. Alyssa Collins is the 15 year old daughter of Soundclick's regulars John and Lucie Collins so there is the first reason I picked this track for review. After all, I love the way Momma (that's Lucie Collins to the rest of us) sings so maybe it's passed down to their daughter. The second reason is that I am a complete Japan freak. I love the language, the people, the fashions and (most) of the manga/anime culture - although there are some areas of this that leave much to be desired. Why is it that all island races end up being a) completely bonkers and b) a nation of perverts??
I include, of course, my own island race - the perfidious brits.
Hiragana, just in case you are wondering, is the Japanese syllabi that constitute the language; the building blocks of Japanese if ya like, the ABC's. The song itself came about with a collab between Daniel Bloom and Goodnight Kiss's songwriter Janet Fisher and was produced by Art Munson, a very well known and respected producer with an unbelieveable pedigree. So, judging by all that, Hiragana Song should be a shoo-in right? Ah, you know me too well, you KNOW I wouldn't just let something slide by just because I happen to know the people who made it. The first listen confirmed pretty much all I had been expecting; a faultless performance and the kind of production values you would have expected from a known (ie a RW track record) producer. Where the track missed, at least on initial plays, was that I found it incredibly lightweight in a very poppy way. Nothing bad but it would obviously be a track that would only appeal to certain audiences.
Appearances, as always, can be very deceptive though...
It's after living with the track for a few days when it's obvious this is a very serious effort at that elusive 'worldwide' hit. To be sure to my ears - after some fairly consistent playing - it sounds like the real deal. Moreover, given the market it's aimed at, that kind of lightweight pop is exactly what the market requires. So, whether it will make that grade or not is up to the moves it makes within the real world music business. So what does this mean for us internet bottom feeders who want everything for free? There's talk that a fragment of the track will be uploaded onto Soundclick some time soon and if so, I do suggest you give it a listen because it is an excellently realised, very commercial track that presses all the right buttons. If you like the sound of the track and just want it anyway, the download at ITunes will cost you just under a pound in the UK and probably 79c in the US). On a more personal level, Alyssa has a different vocal quality to Lucie (as you would expect) but this track bodes very well indeed for this talented young singer. It takes talent to shine in company such as this and for a 15 year old, Alyssa has a surprising maturity about her performance. For me, living with the track is what finally sold me on it, the sheer professionalism of the technical side could only carry it so far. At the end of the day, this is a very catchy, likeable song encased in a classic pop setting and proves to be eminently listenable.
Highly recommended (song content and hooks are superb). Pop of the first order.