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Favorite, recommendation

カテゴリ:Favorite, recommendation

This is eighth album of Sing Like Talking.
There was a music critic who compared this album with The Beatles' "Revolver" -"Revolver" is followed by "Sgt.Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band".
S.L.T's next and ninth album is "Welcome to Another World"; it would be up to each listener's imagination whether this album could be compared with "Sgt.Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band", though.
From the very opening, two songs are showing their determination.
"Subarashii yumeno nakade"(in dreaming great future) is a song expressing that in dreaming something in the future, it's more important to think why than what.
"Keeps Me Runnin'" starts with a phrase saying that we must not complain that everyday is boring because there is a goal we want to reach.
According to Chikuzen Satou:
Back then, members' interests in music changed after they recorded the previous album "Togetherness".
And from the time they recorded "Togetherness", they had tried to approach not from standpoints of "pops" but the essentials of music, which was a "thorny path" for them.
Because: They always want what they think they are good and they want to create as musicians to be in accord.

"Burnin' Love" is popular at their live concerts.
Sometimes they have audience sing the part "Hey, hey, hey", sometimes band members other than percussionists and drummers play the percussion.
Latter half of this album consists of andante songs.
After they made a release of this album, they performed at Nippon Budoukan for the first time, where is regarded as a shrine to pop music in Japan and the place where the Beatles performed at, too.

(Translation: Unable-to-think-up-handle)

August 2, 1995 FHCF-2241


When I went to London for semester abroad, I brought a ballad collection of S.L.T.
A song in the ballad collection "Kokoro no tobira", which is originally included in this album "Discovery" was favorably received among classmates and teachers, with a praise "What a lovely voice he has!"
There was a problem, though -if I translate the title literally, it's "door of heart", which is incomprehensible.
So I introduced this song with translation of my own "Open your mind" which is unofficial yet, although I reported to Chikuzen later by contributing to his regular radio program.
After I returned to Japan, I introduced some albums of S.L.T. to international friends with letters.
When I set up this weblog in May 2006, I thought up placing those English introductions.
This is the origin of "Favorite, recommendation" -and dual language weblog.

:Ready to place translation if asked

Last updated  2020.09.29 11:18:36
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カテゴリ:Favorite, recommendation
"An album packed with songs with various taste.
 The contents are seven songs, and one more song as extra helping.
  Each song is substantial like main dish, having taste with variety.
   Bon appetit to your heart's content!

I suppose it's not irrelevant to describe her that she is like a synonym for a proverb that persistence pays off.
For seventeen years until Yoshiko made a release of her first major-label album in 2017, she kept on writing songs while she worked at a bakery as a live-in worker.
She has kept on performance mainly at shopping malls
, so she is often described as a shopping mall diva.
She has met various people at those places and touched various people's lives.
That's why her songs touch the heartstrings of people -such as "Sakura -sotsugyou dekinakatta kimie" (cherry -dear friend who couldn't graduate-), a song about a schoolgirl recalling a deceased friend at graduation season in spring, and "Inaho" (ears of rice), a mashup with "Amazing Grace".
Some of her songs are realistic, such as "Obentoubakono uta" (a song of lunchbox) -a story of a mother who prepare packed lunch for children every day, and her latest song "Hahae" (to my mother).
According to self-introduction note on Yoshiko's official website, she worked at the bakery six days a week and wrote songs in her spare time, living on bread left unsold.
Even during long obscurity, somehow she absolutely trusted in herself and her music.
Putting aside how she could gain opportunity to perform at shopping malls,
She kept working on music and live performance individually without belonging to agencies.
As a result, more and more listeners felt sympathy with not only Yoshiko's songs but also her own way of life, and she gradually won favorable coverage in the media, until a front man of a national band in our country praised her as Japanese Anita Baker.
Shikao Suga, a male rock singer, once said that when he changed his career from a company employee and made his debut at age 31 in 1997, he was told that his debut was improbably late.
Unfortunately, there are still moss-headed men who appraise women that the younger, the more superior.
Needless to say, real music fans don't have such code of value,
But at the same time, I imagine that her songs could cause a stir in such shallow frivolous sense of value in our country, and she might be a pioneer in our country by carrying out her own way of life.
One of her dreams is that her songs are placed on school textbook of music.

(Translation: Unable-to-think-up-handle)

April 5, 2017 Crown Record CRCP-40505


Who is 400,000th visitor!?

:Ready to place translation if asked

Last updated  2019.06.09 17:37:23
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カテゴリ:Favorite, recommendation

This year is 30th anniversary of S.L.T., and this album came after absence of five years.
After 25th anniversary, S.L.T., they held concerts with different theme each year.
In 2015, they performed with string section, and before this concert, they made a release of "Longing -ame no regret-" (regret in the rain).
In 2016, they performed with horn section -and held open-air concerts in summer.
In that year, they made a release of "Kazega fuita hi "(the day wind blew).
Later, one of those stages was made into a movie "Music of my life".
In 2017, they held concerts for two days, calling each day "Pop of the day" and "Rock of the day".
The song written in that year "Rokugatsu no aoi sora"(blue sky in June; in Japan, June is recognized as rainy season) is the one they are self-confident as absolutely pop.
They made a release of single each year with different theme of each.
As a result, about half of the songs in this album are already released as singles.
And if you like S.L.T.’s songs funky, this album might sound not entirely satisfying to you.
At the same time, there is no exaggerated fanfare
-It might mean 30th anniversary of S.L.T. is just a passage point of their trajectory of challenge, while this year is a special phase for them.


When the list of songs was announced on their official website before this album was on sale, it became the subject among fans what song would be the opening number in this album.
As a result, "Kazega fuita hi" followed the opening tune.
 When they made a release of this song as a single, "Hysterical Parade" was included, too.
  Rare trial is hidden in interlude of this song: They had trombone player perform freely, and added arrangement and accompaniment on trombone solo later.
"Yamini saku hana" (flowers in the dark) was written for a revenge tragedy TV drama "Black Revenge" in autumn 2017.
 They say that this is the darkest song of S.L.T.
  This song starts with Kyrie eleison, and duet with Sarah Alainn and groovy beat express ray of hope in despair.
In creating this album, they wrote a song of cat for the first time in their career: "Sweet Cat Home".
Chikuzen Sato had three cats in 2000s, named Kiki, Coocoo and Coco,
 And often placed photos and diary about them on weblog.
  But they aged old and died one by one.
   Now Chiaki Fujita has a cat, and occasionally, he places photos on Twitter.
Sound of cat's purring is in this song, but it's difficult to hear unless you listen in quiet place or with headphones.

Since they formed a band which was named Sing Like Talking later, they've always tried to create music they believe to be best.
 Yesterday September 30, 2018 was their 30th anniversary.
  And their challenge goes on.

January 17, 2018 UPCH-2146

(Translation: Unable-to-think-up-handle)

:Ready to place translation if asked

Last updated  2018.10.01 21:38:51
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カテゴリ:Favorite, recommendation

Some sweets lovers might recognize a pastry chef and chocolatier Susumu Koyama, who has won titles at worldwide chocolat contests many times.
And some music fans -especially if you have preferences like me, and some people who have read this weblog, might recall two songs of Chikuzen Satou:
"The Lost Treasure" from "Your Christmas Day III", and "Human" from "Cornerstones 6".
They are written inspired by Koyama's chocolat.
Koyama's cakes and sweets inspired various musicians, and twelve songs were written or performed, and this compilation album came true.
They tasted Koyama's sweets, and some wrote songs for this album, and some covered songs suitable for sweets they experienced.
Of course, Chikuzen is one of the musicians who took part in.
He selected strawberry shortcake and covered "Strawberry Letter 23" written in 1977.
Just like Koyama's cakes and sweets made from different ingredients and different art of cooking, twelve songs are all different
-Chamber music with piano, pop tune, rock'n'roll and jazz.
Some musicians compare creating music with cooking; ingredients are the most important, and they try to select the best cookery and tableware for good ingredients.
You might assent if you listen to this CD.

September 27, 2017 Tokuma Japan Communications, TKCA-74552


Why did I place this album not on February 14, St.Valentine's Day, but today?
In our country, confectionery industry made Valentine's day into event that women present chocolate to men as token of love and distribute valentine's chocolate and sweets at workplaces out of a sense of social obligation, and besides, established "White Day" on March 14, one month after Valentine's day, that men who received valentine gifts from women return them with sweets and various gifts
-Unique aspect of this nation that is loyal to duty and particular about returns!
But in this Valentine season, a big-name confectionery ran a newspaper advertisement encouraging to stop distributing obligation chocolates at workplaces -to be precise, men side should suggest women side that they don't need obligation chocolates, and controversy rose.
However, I read on website of NASA that March 14 is Pi Day.
As I confessed, I flunked in mathematics in high school and gave up interests in space once, though -until I came back in spring 2015.

In short... who is π =3(.)14159th visitor!?


:Ready to place translation if asked

Last updated  2018.03.14 19:53:14
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カテゴリ:Favorite, recommendation

They are a group of eight male singers with heights over 180cm.
The name of group expresses dual characters of "Solid" that means cool and stylish, and "Emo" that means "emotional" -in other words, effeminate.
They are aiming to be a made-in-Japan musical group of Asia.
They've been appealing actively abroad since they made a debut, and their official website is already run in English, Korean, and Chinese.
Then, some readers might think that I'm not the right one to place something about them -but read anyway, please.

When I watched their performance "Rafflesia" on a music program I regularly watch, what interested me was:
It's amazing that they entitle a song with the name of parasitic plant with huge garish flower and offensive odor to lure flies for pollination.
Later, I found out to get convinced that this song was a theme song of a TV drama about mounting ladies; people who eagerly compare and vie with each other on various things to make themselves look better than others without even hesitating bully and harassment -nowadays, this is expressed as mounting, a habit of monkeys.
This song compares such vanity with rafflesia -strictly speaking, Rafflesia arnoldii.
This holoparasitic plant with strong presence is ominous in appearance and malodorous, but flower is short-lived.
So is "Heroine" in this album, and this song expresses mentality of ladies in the vortex of mounting battles more straightly, I suppose.
If I listen to only a song like this without watching drama or movie at all, sometimes impression of singers and music is not affected by impression and evaluation of drama or movie, but sometimes I cannot have enough comprehension -back then, I thought such a thing.
Then why do I place this album NOW?

The first single in 2018 of SOLIDEMO "MIRAI" is written by Chikuzen Satou and Chiaki Fujita from Sing Like Talking.

This news came up in this November when S.L.T.'s latest single "Yamini saku hana" (flower blooming in the darkness) was on air as a theme song of a revenge tragedy drama thematizing love that Heroine tries to carry out even by disgracing herself.
Reportedly, SOLIDEMO side asked a new song to members of S.L.T. as they sought the whole concept in the future as a musical group.
Chikuzen and Chiaki gave a ready consent that they could be contributory to enliven music scene in Japan.

I suppose this is a big difference from songs in this album -most of them were written for dramas from the beginning.
Also, their producer mentions it on weblog that as the group name shows, many of their songs are assumed to be sung to ladies, but "MIRAI" is not the one.
And S.L.T. is celebrating 30th anniversary in September 2018.
Good luck with MIRAI (future) of SOLIDEMO and Sing Like Talking!
(Translation: Unable-to-think-up-handle)


"8 Collars": October 21, 2015 AVCD-93242
"MIRAI": January 10, 2018 AVCD-83969


Who is 300,000th visitor!?

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Last updated  2017.12.21 22:14:49
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カテゴリ:Favorite, recommendation

Some music fans would recognize her with Deep Forest's song "Will You Be Ready" in 2002 before she made a debut.

Then, it might not be so surprising that "Nijiga umareru kuni" (the country where rainbow is coming from) was performed with popular local band in Ireland, and used as a theme song of diplomatic relations between Ireland and Japan.

Needless to explain, Cassini is an astronomer who made achievements in Saturn observation.
 This title is named after this astronomer
  -So is Cassini spacecraft which ended mission at Saturn on Sep. 15, 2017.
It might be only me who listened to the title tune "Cassini -dosei ni waga aru riyuu-"(Cassini -the reason Saturn has rings-) and thought of Cassini orbiter first of all
-Because of the line saying that she is so deeply in love and finds herself going around someone she loves.
Actually, Gen Ueda, the songwriter, was inspired to write this song when he met Chitose after she got married.
In this album as a whole, Chitose expresses circle of people like Saturn's rings that is connected by music.
Nine songwriters and producers took part in this recording.
Chitose says that the atmosphere of songs written by male songwriters and female songwriters are different, and songs produced by female tend to be more passionate.


Back to "Will You Be Ready":
The sampled traditional folk song performed by Chitose was "Itokuribushi", a spinning song in Amami.
Reportedly, this song expresses concerns that thread might break, followed by lines saying if thread breaks, we can tie, but if relationship between people breaks, it's difficult to tie again.
With the lapse of time...
Chitose's latest album as of October 2017 is "Heiwa gannen", a collection of antiwar songs.
She made a release of this album in summer 2015, 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.
"Shinda onnanoko", a song about a girl who perished in atomic bombing in Hiroshima, is a song she recorded with Ryuichi Sakamoto in 2005, 60th anniversary of the end of World War II.
Chitose performed together with Sakamoto again in album "Cassini".
"Will You Be Ready" was a song warning whether human race is ready for the results of what they've done. 
What if this is presented to self-centered, imbecline, exhibitionistic, dictatorial rulers who don't know that destroying the world and Earth to flaunt themselves means death of THEIR OWN?
On the interview about "Heiwa gannen", Chitose says that as a singer and mother, she wants to sing and pass down prayer for peace and resolution never to repeat the tragedy of war.
The album "Cassini" is "circle" of people that Chitose has drawn with music.
As I line up her earliest work, latest work and one of the works between the earliest and latest works,
A concept is coming up that Chitose is connecting people and people with music.

"Cassini": July 16, 2008, ESCL-3090, Ariora Japan
"Heiwa gannen": July 22, 2015 AUCL-184, Ariora Japan

:Ready to place translation if asked

Last updated  2017.10.22 13:36:40
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カテゴリ:Favorite, recommendation

Recently, under worldwide trend, various singers in pops field in Japan are performing with symphony orchestra.
Last February, there was a musical event that several singers performed with symphony orchestra, and Chikuzen Satou took part in, too.
One of the pioneers might be Kouji Tamaki from Anzen-Chitai,
But Chikuzen is not the one who leaped at this movement.
Many of those singers arrange their own songs for symphony orchestra and perform.
Instead, Chikuzen watched the recent movement of approximation of classical music and pop music, and thought what he wanted to express, and decided to record a cover work.
Chikuzen says that he takes prior to be honest to satisfy his own desire in music than appealing himself in pop music scene in Japan.
But it doesn't mean he ignores music scene in Japan and fans.
Listeners who seek for music different from current Japanese pops, distinction between Japan and world or category is disappearing...
Under such situation, he tried to make his place in music scene clear.

Eight songs he selected seem to be inconsistent,
But as we see the background of those songs, there is a common point; they are selected based on musical roots of each song.
Baroque music leading to hard rock is behind "Story Of My Life".
Melody of "Hey Brother" is peculiar to country western, and cowboy movie music leads to this, and European classical music is behind them.
He didn't want to perform light classical music.
The point of arrangement is how to bring out appeals of original songs with the form of symphony music.
In "Story Of My Life" and "Africa", African percussionists from Senegal and Gen Oogimi who acquired skill in western Africa, take part in -there is no transcribing the groove on musical score!
When Sing Like Talking made their debut, they held a debut concert with Jeff Porcaro.
People who know about this would be delighted if they listen to "Africa" -so would have been Jeff
-This was my first impression when I listened to this album.

Chikuzen didn't record fourth Christmas album in 2016 because of this album.
But following "Your Christmas Day III" in 2015, a song inspired by new chocolat of Susumu Koyama, who won a victory at a contest again, is included.
Koyama asked Chikuzen to write a song of his new chocolat again, but it's not something organized.
Koyama's intention was to spread the story behind his chocolat.
Violence of nature like earthquake disasters, blessings of nature like plants... people are tiny creatures existing under such things
The title thought at first was "Legacy", but it ended up in "Human".
"Ashitae"(toward tomorrow) was originally written as a college song of an art college in Yamagata.
It also works a role as a rooters' song for reconstruction from 3.11 earthquake disaster.
 The lyricist is a scenario writer from Kumamoto prefecture, where was stricken by earthquake disaster last April.
  As "For Kumamoto Version", this song was included in this album, with new lyrics and symphony arrangement.

(Translation: Unable-to-think-up-handle)

November 23, 2016 Universal J, UPCH-2099


Who is 210,000th visitor!?


:Ready to place summery if asked

Last updated  2017.01.12 19:52:38
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カテゴリ:Favorite, recommendation

A folk band Off Course was formed in 1969, and until they broke up in 1989, while members and formation changed several times, they influenced various musicians and pop music scene in Japan.
When they made a release of this album "Three and Two", their popularity was rising rapidly with songs "Ai wo tomenaide" (don't stop love), "Sayonara"(farewell), "Yes-No".
It was after their single "Sayonara" made a great hit when they decided to make a release of a single "Umarekuru kodomotachino tameni" (for children coming to the world) from this album.
Reportedly, record company side opposed because this song was too restrained and political message was contained, so it wouldn't be accepted by general public.
But Kazumasa Oda, the songwriter, stuck to his own will and belief.
Unfortunately, compared to "Sayonara", this single didn't make a big hit.
But later, members of Sing Like Talking, who were listening to Off Course with friends during high school days, learned a lot from Oda's belief.

With the lapse of time...

Chikuzen Satou from Sing Like Talking has worked on cover songs.
After the terrorist attack in September 11, 2001, one of the songs he thought of first of all was "Umarekuru kodomotachino tameni".
Superficially, the series of battle is between America and al-Qaeda, but in essence, adults are impregnating children with stereotype about the world and trampling on them.
It's always children who are sacrificed in the end -that's the very thing still going on even now.
He decided to cover this song as his work and contacted Oda, then Oda readily consented and offered to produce, and also took part in chorus recording.
Besides, Toots Thielemans performed harmonica.
When Chikuzen performed this song at a concert I went, Chikuzen talked an inside story back then; When he contacted Toots and explained the concept, Toots approved, and sent more than a dozen of performance data.
As a result, Chikuzen's single, on sale on November 2002, was recorded by members from wide generation;
Toots Thielemans was around eighty, Kazumasa Oda was in his fifties, Chikuzen was just before forty. (Back then)
Narration before chorus was by Takako Matsu (mentioned below), in her twenties back then.

Superfluously: According to Chikuzen, it's a tendency only in Japan that original songs and cover works are not equal; original songs are worshipped and cover works are underestimated -is that so?
In the musical animation movie "Frozen", heroine's song of Japanese version was performed by Takako Matsu.
It's true that her song is appreciated highly worldwide.
On the other hand, in Japanese version of this movie, a singer May J. sang this song as its theme song, but there are people who abuse that she is just benefitted from the efforts and popularity of Matsu and Disney bland.
Chikuzen was indignant that that such people don't understand what is to express in singing.
-Me? Back then, I wondered only how general public reacted if other singers were in charge of theme song,
And then, whether such people would also abuse "Go The Distance" by Fumiya Fujii or even Eric Clapton’s "Change The World" or Whitney Huston's "I Will Always Love You".
As for this, I suppose it was just Matsu was too adequate for the casting in this movie.

Excuse me for sidetracking.

After Toots Thielemans was called to Heaven at the age of 94, Chikuzen dedicated a eulogy for him:
Toots offered his talent and performance with no stint to anybody whom he thought he was good regardless of fame or social status, and he had tolerance and broad mind that cannot be praised enough with the word "friendly"; these are the reasons Chikuzen respects Toots a lot.
Today, I'd like to take this occasion to place a condolence for Toots Thielemans, too.

October 20, 1979

(Translation: Unable-to-think-up-Handle)


Who is 191,919 th visitor!?

:Ready to place translation if asked

Last updated  2016.09.12 07:46:39
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カテゴリ:Favorite, recommendation

First of all: Let me type whole sentences in English so that it doesn't garble.

Not only musicians from Tohoku and related with Tohoku are working so that they can be light of hope for stricken area and survivors.
Kaori is a singer from Okinawa, and has performed at local music scene since her childhood.
She experienced 3.11 earthquake disaster when she was on a live radio program in Fukushima.
Later, she wrote "Smile Again", which became a title song of this album.
At first, this song was sold on distribution, and Kaori has spent the profit for supportive actions for children in Fukushima.
Like this song, several songs express her affection for people who love their home town,
Such as "Futenma no kaori"(literal translation: "scent of Futenma") and "Sennnen sakura"(thousand-year-old cherry).
Also, humorous songs are also highlight, too: "Champ-Loo 2012" and "Minna daisuki"(I like you all)



There might be readers who feel that her family name is familiar...this is real name;
Yes, since I'm placing in English, I'd like to take this occasion to place a question to general public in the country stationing troops in Asia including our country; how they think about military base relocation problem under contention between nation and prefecture.
Although there is no clear answer yet how to solve this problem,
Bulldozing self-righteous ruling party and Cabinet, disgraceful opposition parties and emotional demonstrators,
-I'm afraid that a description could be applied that they are disputing for the sake of disputing.
Not just in and around our country; who are the ones that need to be taught how foolish to exchange chain of hatred?
On the sideline: Freedom of expression is secured NOT to bully someone.
As I listen to "Champ-Loo" in this album, funny irony attracts me:
"a President always in rotten mood and prefers wars,
 St. Ksitigarbha smiling even when people splash water,
  if both are added and multiplied and put together and mixed,
   then there would never be conflicts


Who is 160,000th visitor!?

October 24, 2012 Takumi Note TECG-20072

(Translation: Unable-to-think-up-handle)


Last updated  2016.01.10 15:17:13
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カテゴリ:Favorite, recommendation

As Chikuzen had declared, making release of his series of Christmas album came true for the third time.
Chikuzen says that as a radio personality, he has taken interest in Christmas songs all over the world,
And listened various kinds of songs, even heavy metal and hip-hop.
He has found Christmas songs expressing large scale of world view, not only love songs and for family and friends
In Japan, "Harukanaru Christmas" by Masashi Sada would be the one.
Chikuzen says that in recording Christmas albums, he selects songs on triad criteria:
1. Standard Christmas songs including traditional songs -this time, "O Holy Night" and "Please come home for Christmas"
2. His original songs -Chikuzen doesn't write songs with an awareness of Christmas.
3. Songs that can deliver different message in Christmas seasons
This time, "After The Rain" is one of them.
This song is the opening number, and you might be surprised at the sound of rock music.
Arrangement is by Kouichi Tabo from Superfly.
"Whenever I Call You Friend" is sung with SHANTI, who writes lyrics for his Christmas albums.
And one of the important appeals of this album is "I Need You" sung with Ayaka Hirahara
You might recognize her "Jupiter", which shows appeals of her low voice.
This song of Philip Bailey is not a Christmas song, of course.
Chikuzen talked at his Christmas concert that he selected this song because this song has elements of both classical music that Hirahara studies and soul music that Hirahara likes.
This song is arranged highlighting elements of baroque.

Another important appeal is cover photo and "The Lost Treasure".
Cakes on cover photo and lyrics cards are made by Susumu Koyama.
Koyama is a chocolatier who won the top at a contest "Salon Du Chocolat 2015".
According to Chikuzen, at first, he was going to ask Koyama just for those cakes for cover photos.
But when they began to talk about this, Koyama told Chikuzen that he created a magnificent fantasy story for his chocolat he sent to the contest, and asked Chikuzen for music for this story.
Chikuzen thought that Koyama wanted theme songs of his chocolat, but realized that what Koyama imagined was a suite.
-And a suite "The Lost Treasure" was written.

You don't have to worry about language barrier; all the songs including this suite are English.
In English, sound and delivered messages are different from Japanese, and Chikuzen wishes listeners enjoy such difference.

December 2, 2015 Universal Music UPCH-2059

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Last updated  2015.12.24 12:24:20
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