Friday, August 12, 2016

Kimiko Kasai - Kimiko (1982)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:
Kimiko Kasai - Butterfly (1979)

Shimmering, smooth-as-butter disco/soft rock from Japanese singer Kimiko Kasai. Known best as a jazz singer, Kimiko probably represents an attempt to garner a broader American audience. However, regardless of the album's immaculate arrangements and deft pop songwriting, her complex, idiosyncratic voice just wasn't meant for a pop audience, so here it is, three and a half decades later, on a nerdy music blog.

Track listing:
1. The Right Place
2. Looking for Love
3. Steppin' Outside Tonight
4. I'm So Much in Love
5. I Felt You Glancin'
6. Love Is All We Need
7. I Wish That Love Would Last
8. Over You

I felt you glancing

Give these a spin, too:
Adrian Gurvitz -
Sweet Vendetta (1979)
Teena Marie -
Starchild (1984)


  1. I don't like Kimiko. I find that she's trying too hard to be the iconic american soul diva, (even to the point of nearing blackface territory, i.e. the cover of "Butterfly") and thereby loses touch with her own cultural identity. To me the music feels strained and inauthentic. I am deeply enamored of Taeko Ohnuki, Miharu Koshi and Nokko however!

    1. Well, she's obviously not obligated to remain in touch with Japanese culture, and she was clearly deeply enamored with American jazz/funk/pop. To me, when she's in jazz mode, she sounds as genuinely invested and authentic as any other musician, and when she's in disco mode, I love it because of, not in spite of, its plastic, overly manicured sound and delivery. That's all part of the joy of this era of pop -- for me anyway.

    2. I agree with the above statement. Being Japanese doesn't mean you are only allowed to play music of Japanese origin. To me she is doing what she loves and what she feels. If her thing was the American soul diva thing then more power to her. If every artist only played music from their country of origin we wouldn't have nearly as much great stuff as we do available to us. I'm Norse and Italian. Does that mean I should only play Black Metal with accordions? Also that cover of Butterfly is dope. Just my opinion. Don't have to agree with me. I will say this however, Japan is a country where people often have no problem with sharing their own culture with the world as well as partaking in art, music, literature, etc from other countries. If only we all had that mindset.

  2. This is a GREAT westcoast/jazz/funk album. She sings technically good and sexy. Great musicians, great production. The 184 album (Love Talk) is also very good.

  3. Pretty decent record with some diversity to boot. I really dig that Herbie Hancock collab.