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Yasuyuki

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It's 1989. Yasuyuki is reaching the climax of his popularity, and it seems like he's won the heart of all the girls in Japan. It comes time to release a third album, and he names it after himself. You may think that's peculiar, but Yasuyuki could never pick just one song to name the album after, so he chose something all-encompassing...
 
 
Original Release Date: July 11, 1989
Re-Released: September 30, 1991
Runtime: 48 minutes, 17 seconds
Producer, Composer, Arranger: Yasuyuki Okamura
Mixed At: Studio Take One
Released By: Epic/Sony Japan Inc.
Bass: Nobuo Ariga
Saxophone: Jake H. Conception
Chorus: Eve, Chakka, Sera, Yuuko Ootaki, Jun Itou, Kuzuyo Sugimoto, Yuiko Tsubokura, Ryuichiro Yokota
Strings: Nobuyuki Shimizu
Recorded At: Digital Studio, Studio Take One, Magnet Studio, Onkio Haus and SEDIC
Special Thanks: Yasuyuki's Boys & Girls
 
This is the first album, a rather sizeable one, where Yasuyuki does most of the production work, including playing multiple instruments. This album was the debut of the Peach Mark, a smiling heart (or upside down peach) which would be used from this point on as Yasuyuki's trademark and mascot. Also worth pointing out is how most original copies of the album had the title and Peach Mark printed in the disc case's front...something Prince would do two years later with the Love Symbol album.
 
 
1. Vegetable (4:29) A really snappy, fun song with strange lyrics about how vegetables are better for you than junk food. There's a bit of a ragtime edge to this song, even a honky-tonk piano, and even though Yasuyuki is telling you to eat peppers, it's a good one.
 
 
There's a music video where Yasuyuki tries to flirt with some girls playing pinball, and they don't notice, so he materializes vegetables into their hands. They head out and dance in the street before beating a would-be attacker with the vegetables.
 
 
2. Love Tambourine / ラブ タンバリン (3:52) A very cute and charming one. It's a song about letting go of your past bad feelings and finding something good, but the arrangement is super sweet. My favourite part is the sudden jazz moment about 2:21 into the song.
 
 
3. What Do You Want Me To Do For You / どんなことして欲しいの僕に (5:47) Here, Yasuyuki seems to be imitating Prince's Camille voice, and sings the whole thing with a high squeak. Fans consider this one of Yasuyuki's more erotic songs, given the subject matter about a raucous relationship and Yasuyuki's moaning and yelping at the end. It's a very simple song, but still rather catchy. The title later went to his 1990 movie.
 
 
4. Fake Friends / 友人のふり (3:26) Here's a song about being betrayed by a friend. This one is also rather simple, but Yasuyuki's vocal delivery is rather powerful at times, and the string section is beautiful. This would later be featured in Yasuyuki's movie.
 
 
5. Bible / 聖書(バイブル) (7:46) Yasuyuki warns a girl in this song that her relationship is making her act way older than she should be, and she's got to smarten up and realize how young she really is. This song has two versions: one is the original nearly-eight-minute one, and the music video one. The album one is spectacular, slowly building into a wild bridge and a finale with at least six layers of instruments and individual beats. The music video one is snappy and fun, but not as mesmerizing as the album version.
 
 
The music video has Yasuyuki and the same crew from the 19 and Super Girl videos, but at one point, everybody but him freezes, and there's a room full of neon shapes. It's very eighties but I really like it.
 
 
6. I Love You / だいすき (3:47) This is a huge hit by Yasuyuki. It was popular enough to be used in a 1989 ad for Honda's New Today, and to this day it's one of his trademarks. It's also the first of his songs to have a kid chorus. There's no way to be sad when you hear this song. It's about Yasuyuki professing his love to a girl, offering to take her on a vacation with him.
 
 
The music video is also rather iconic, with Yasuyuki dancing around shapes, singing to a woman his age and a woman older than him, and dancing around with a little girl in a raincoat. It's just as cute as the song.
 
 
7. Có mon (1:45) There's not much I can say about this one. It's catchy and you can dance to it, but it's super short and it's nothing we haven't heard before. It comes along, graces us, and immediately leads into... 
 
 
8. Boys (3:37) I can't find any lyric information on this one, but it's really catchy with its backbeat of "shu-pah kon-kon-kon", the sound of a computer game as mentioned in the beginning. It's another basic Okamura song, but it's a fun trip.
 
 
9. You Don't Love Me / 愛してくれない (6:01) - With a soft, sweeping horn section and some gentle vocals from Yasuyuki, this just might be the most beautiful song on the album. It's another break up song, this time with being dumped for another man. This song is one of my favourites and it's a huge shame it's been set aside for other songs on the album, since it sounds like something you'd ballroom dance to or something from a movie soundtrack.
 
 
10. Punch↑ (4:48) Another snappy one with a big chorus, where Yasuyuki wants to tell you that he's better a boyfriend than any rich guy. There's a lot of fun experimentation with Yasuyuki's vocals, the opening, and the synth during the bridge.
 
 
The music video has Yasuyuki and some girls dancing in a colourful set with a lot of camera layers. It's mesmorizing and kind of pretty.
 
 
11. Basketball / バスケットボール (2:44) Another one about being rejected. Yasuyuki just wants to be somebody's boyfriend, and you'd think by some point that he'd be picked up by someone. It's still reallt gentle and nostalgic sounding, with a bit of perfect English at the end.
 
 
Overall
 
This album is split halfway for me. The whole thing is upbeat and listenable, but some songs sound similar to ones we've already heard. There are some classics, but you can already find them in music video form on It's A Peachful World. If you love the general sound of this album, get it by all means. The album is also highly worth it for the original version of "Bible".
 
 
 
There's also an accompianing concert video, released on laserdisc and video in 1989, and on DVD in 2003 and 2005. The production values are high and there's plenty of Yasuyuki's skits. This includes one where you see him get in the shower, so it's definitely for fangirls, and that's a good thing.
 
 

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