人生は五十歳から始まる。

(jinsei wa gojuusai kara hajimaru)

Hitomi Shimatani – new album ‘Prima Rosa’

Posted by redracer on March 15, 2007

Released on the 7th March, this is the latest album release from Hitomi Shimatani (島谷ひとみ), and her sixth studio album.

prima-rosa-front.jpg

I first saw her on the a-nation’05 DVD, and immediately had to find out more about her. She was born in 1980 in Hiroshima, and always wanted to become a singer. After the usual record company audition (she won “The Japan Singer Audition 1997” from around 200,000 other entrants) while she was at high school, she was chosen by Avex Trax and released her first single in 1999 after finishing school. It was an Enka (a bit like traditional Japanese ‘country’ music) style song and it sold poorly, although it did receive critical acclaim. It was then decided that she would change direction to a more mainstream pop sound, however her music is hard to categorize, as she often includes a mixture of Latin and classical sounds and rhythms in her dance/pop songs. Since then she has released over 20 singles, some mini & compliation albums and 5 studio albums, and as is common in Japan, tie-ins tunes with anime series have increased her exposure and popularity. On this album, Hitomi wrote the lyrics to a couple of the songs, but like many Japanese artists, most of the tracks were written for her. Her songs often have exotic or foreign sounding names, and because some of her more recent releases have included orchestras with strings, timpani, trumpets & tubular bells, her music is often termed by many as a ‘crossover’ style. As a classically trained musician this appeals to me, and the only comparison I can think of at the moment is the all-girl group Bond (who don’t sing though). She is also one of the few female J-Pop artists that doesn’t feel they have to keep changing their hair colour to various shades of red or blonde.

The track listing is …

  1. Ramblin’
  2. Kimi no Koe
  3. Hareta Hi wa
  4. Dragonfly
  5. Psychodelic Future
  6. Camellia (PRIMA ROSA version)
  7. Destiny – Taiyo no hana
  8. Prague no Onna
  9. Koimizu – tears of love
  10. PASIO
  11. El Dorado
  12. Haru Machibito
  13. Brand new Dream

As well as the CD version there is also a DVD version, and it contains music clips of …

  1. Haru Machibito
  2. Camellia
  3. Destiny – Taiyo no hana
  4. Koimizu – tears of love
  5. PASIO
  6. Dragonfly (PRIMA ROSA version)
  7. Ramblin’
  8. Hareta Hi wa (offshot movie)

+ 3 live tracks from the Special Live ‘crossover II’ DVD

  1. Sara Souju
  2. Destiny – Taiyo no hana
  3. Camellia

Like most Japanese album releases, this contains all her singles released since the last album, ‘Heart & Symphony’ in 2005 (Haru Machibito, Destiny – Taiyo no hana, PASIO & Dragonfly, as well as the B-sides Camellia & Koimizu – tears of love), so there are 7 news songs on the album. 

prima-rosa-back.jpg

Her web site, if you want to find out more info, is http://www.avexnet.or.jp/shimatani/

Some other popular J-Pop blogs, like beyondthesea, keeptryin209, finalhikari, nekouniverse, J•Music  & hellomusic, don’t mention Hitomi Shimatani, so I hope this can help broaden your musical experience with this under-rated singer.

Conclusion: With one of the best and most versatile voices going around (not like the ferrets-on-helium squeaking of some Japanese female pop singers) and also as I believe THE best looking female singer to boot, there is a lot to like about Hitomi Shimatani. 

 shimatani.jpg

This release is not as good a value as some, with the CD and DVD both just 55 minutes – but if you like interesting dance/pop music with a Latin/classical edge, I think you will like Hitomi Shimatani -)

8 Responses to “Hitomi Shimatani – new album ‘Prima Rosa’”

  1. redracer said

    Leroy, if you listened to the words of “Koimizu – tears of love-“, and watched her expression, you would understand why she does not sing the second verse. Anyway, I don’t care if the camera moves and whether she opens her mouth or not – she could NEVER look stupid !!! I could look at that face ALL DAY🙂🙂🙂

  2. Leroy Vargas said

    I bought this CD+DVD album for Christmas. Of all the songs listed here, the one I feel is the most impressive/compelling of all is Destiny -Taiyo no Hana- with its unique mix of pop and orchestral symphony. I also feel that of all songs featured in Tezuka Pro’s latest anime Black Jack 21, the one that goes more hand-to-hand with the series’ dramatic atmosphere is this one. This song’s PV (included on the DVD) is also impressive. However, the worst of all PVs in this DVD is the one for Koimizu -tears of love-: although the song is undoubtedly beautiful in its own right, the PV truly sucks (the camera is always fixed on her face and never moves, and for the second stanza, Hitomi never opens her mouth and, honestly, looks really stupid). PASIO also sounds impressive and its PV with all its magician effects also looks compelling.

  3. Some hitomi fan said

    ya you guys are right! Ayumi is just getting fans from looks. Obviously, Ayu’s eyes look so unrealistic. HITOMi should be the Empress of J-Pop. Screw ayu…that short freak!

  4. […] more information about this artist, please see this post. The track listing is […]

  5. Ragnaroksyth said

    I definitely agreed with what you three have said. Hitomi deserve more. Just by judging her face and her song alone, she more impressive then other singers like Ayumi and Koda Kumi. What makes Hitomi so appealing is her unique and capitvating songs and her dance steps. I simply feel so unfair for her that she could outshine only that much. I not saying Ayumi and Koda Kumi are lousy, but their songs are ‘relatively’ sounds the same.(All bumming and drums) I wished Hitomi Shimatani will be able to shine more and with her going-to-release Neva Eva of the OL looks. Go! Hitomi!

  6. Tom said

    Hell yeah, Hitoshi is *THE* best-looking woman alive, let alone J-pop artist! Her looks are so captivating. Of course I love her music too, she deserves much more than what she gets in Japan in terms of sales and recognition. Her music is so exotic and exciting, plus her vocals are wonderful. Avex Trax need to pay more attention to her and not waning stars like Ayumi Hamasaki (although I do like her a lot) and Suzuki Ami.

  7. etherworld said

    This is a beautiful album. Every song has its own uniqueness, but yet they all fit together well for some really easy listening.

    Thanks for the info about her! ^_^ She definitely deserves more recognition.

  8. Kimitsu said

    tani-tomi (Well, what I call her) is indeed one of the most underrated singers in the Japanese music industry. I think she gets too overshadowed by her fellow avex singers Hamasaki Ayumi, Amuro Namie, Koda Kumi, and even Suzuki Ami (all who have participated in the same anime tie-ins she has).

    I’ve actually yet to hear this album, and I’m not so sure how much I want to, since Dragonfly was a sudden disappointment after three great singles. But I think I’ll give it a try soon.

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