Listen: 永井真理子 (Nagai Mariko) – Say Hello

Back in 2007, I made a New Year’s resolution to post an audio file everyday for the entire year, and like most New Year’s resolution, I failed to keep it. I did, however, soldier long enough to get me to SXSW, which thus killed the momentum of the project.

So I’m bringing back an occasional "Listen" column when I come across something in the collection that catches my attention.

When I first started listening to Japanese pop music, I wanted to hear something a bit more rocking than the Macross Song Collection, something more along the lines of the Bubblegum Crisis Complete Vocal Collection, Vol. 1. Nagai Mariko’s WASHING came close enough to what I was looking for, although even in the early ’90s, I was craving for something along the lines of Cocco.

"Say Hello" is a more poignant take on the power rock that seems to have informed Nagai’s early career. I say "seems to have informed" because I never really explored any of her other albums. Judging from a few YouTube clips, she sang the kind of pop perfect for anime theme songs.

I’ve tried to sell WASHING at various points in the past with no takers, but now I think I’ll hold onto it. It’s such a contrast to the self-important stuff that takes up so much real estate on my shelves.

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