|Artist: Tsukiko Amano
Product Code: PCCA-70161
Release date: 2006.05.31
Oricon Ranking: #47
Distributor: Pony Canyon
Tsukiko Amano is a solo underground artist to the J-Rock music scene. Her style varies on the lines of alternative rock and her releases aren’t really considered huge hits. Nonetheless this artist still manages to release excellent and exciting material with haunting and dark melodies. Apart from being a singer, Tsukiko is a talented lyricist, guitarist and artist. Her style of art is very unique. She is mostly known for her theme songs for Fatal Frame II and III.
After not releasing anything since her fifth album, ‘A MOON CHILD IN THE SKY’, in September 2005, Tsukiko announced the release of five singles. To commemorate her 5th anniversity, Tsukiko released five singles simultaneously in one single day. They were all released on the 31st May. Each single featured a different style which she has used throughout her musical career. In the end all her promotional videos were meant to be connected. A red balloon can be seen through the videos Utakata and Karasu. Karasu was the first single to be released from the anniversary collection.
Karasu is the first single released from the five anniversary singles created by Amano. This song carries a solid and strong rock genre which she has used in her releases in the past. It is reminiscent of old school rock from albums such as Sharon Stones and Meg Lion. However it still does have a fresh feel to it and contains a lot of driving energy within it. What makes this song so striking is the fact that the style is far from being mainstream and is quite unique. The use of the electric guitars especially give this song a lot of character and style. Tsukiko’s vocals contain a lot of attitude and are at her best in this song.
The promotional video’s symbology and use of colours was impressive and visually pleasing. Each promotional video leads to a door which opens to a different theme and setting per song, reflecting each year of her career. The use of contrasts is used well within this clip. Black, red and white are definately the defining colours within this clip. Tsukiko wears a black suit and creates a masculine and tough image of herself. We also experience the images of crows, since Karasu means crow or raven. On various occassions Tsukiko transforms into a multitude of crows in her bedroom. The use of white, mixed with black within her bedroom creates a very bleak image while the red seems to symbolise a more glamorous and frivolious side. This creates a pretty evident contrasting image.
An interesting fact to note is that her ’self’ from her Konton single makes an appearance within the promotional video and gives Tsukiko a suitcase containing a red deflated balloon.
Garasu or Glass, takes a completely different direction from Karasu. It stands out as a mellow and funky track in comparison with Karasu. The use of instruments sounds less intense and more electronic with hints of bass sounds. Tsukiko’s vocals are soothing and relaxing, in contrast with the previous song, perfectly fitting the funky atmosphere created. It doesn’t exactly strike out but it is the perfect song to listen to on a Saturday morning while driving. It’s a soothing and relaxing mid-tempo song with an elegant touch added to it which makes it quite enjoyable.
Overall I do feel this single was quite satisfactory despite of having only two tracks and no instrumentals. Tsukiko’s style is quite unique and this by itself makes her music quite attractive. In the end, the full package managed to be really good. Both songs managed to compliment each other, but not sound too similar. The cover art and the promotional video were simple but well produced to create the perfect atmosphere for both songs. Despite having less promotion and tie-ins than most well known artists and a lower budget, this single still managed to come out as being one full of quality and symbolism.
From all the five singles, Karasu has managed to strike out and come out as her strongest single due to the powerful tracks and her assertive image. Tsukiko Amano is definately a talented artist which hopefully shall keep releasing quality material in the near future.