Sports (Tokyo Jihen album)

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Sports
スポーツ
Studio album by Tokyo Jihen
Released Japan February 24, 2010 (2010-02-24)[1]
Taiwan March 26, 2010 (2010-03-26)[2]
Recorded 2009
Genre Pop, rock, synthpop, funk, R&B
Length 47:14
Label EMI Music Japan (Distributor)
Virgin Music (Label)
Gold Typhoon
Producer Uni Inoue, Tokyo Jihen
Tokyo Jihen chronology
Variety
(2007)
Sports
(2010)
Dai Hakken
(2011)
Singles from Sports
  1. "Senkō Shōjo"
    Released: November 21, 2007 (2007-11-21) (digital download)
  2. "Nōdōteki Sanpunkan"
    Released: December 2, 2009 (2009-12-02) (CD, digital download)
  3. "Sweet Spot"
    Released: February 8, 2010 (2010-02-08) (digital download)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
The Japan Times (positive)[3]
Rolling Stone Japan 4/5 stars[4]

Sports (スポーツ Supōtsu?) is the fourth studio album by Japanese rock band Tokyo Jihen, released on February 24, 2010 in Japan through EMI Music Japan and Virgin Music.[1] The album was produced by the band and Japanese recording engineer Uni Inoue.

On December 10, 2010, it was announced that "Sports" was named the iTunes Rewind 2010 Best Album of the Year in Japan.

Background[edit]

This is the first Tokyo Jihen album since 2007's Variety and vocalist Ringo Sheena made a comeback to a composer in the album. In 2008, Sheena focused on a string of releases to celebrate her 10th anniversary since her solo debut, such as a B-side collection, a singles box set and a string of concerts. In 2009, she released a new single, "Ariamaru Tomi", and an original album, Sanmon Gossip.[5]

Recording and production[edit]

Tokyo Jihen wrote Sports feature the theme of sports as the title. Band members got together, each bringing some demos which they each created imaging sports. They built instrumentation from demos in the recording studio and Sheena put words on them other than Ukigumo's tracks.

Release and promotion[edit]

The first single released from the album was "Senkō Shōjo." It was released as a digital download in November 2007, two months after the release of their third album, Variety.[6] It was written and recorded in the Variety sessions.[7] The second single, "Nōdōteki Sanpunkan," was released three months before the album, in December 2009. Both singles has commercial tie-ups. "Senkō Shōjo" was used in Subaru Stella car commercials,[8] and "Nōdōteki Sanpunkan" was used in an Ezaki Glico Watering KissMint gum commercial, featuring Sheena as the spokesperson.[9]

"Denpa Tsūshin", "Season Sayonara" and "Kachiikusa" were released in Chaku-uta and Chaku-Uta Full format prior to the album. "Kachiikusa" was used for the second batch of Watering KissMint commercials. It was released to radio, as well as cellphone download, on the 16th of January.[10] It reached #30 on the Billboard Japan Hot 100[11] and #58 on the RIAJ Digital Track Chart Top 100.[12] The band later performed this song on Music Station, a week before the album's release.[13]

"Sweet Spot" was released as a digital download on iTunes on the 8th of February.[14] It reached #13 on the Billboard Japan Hot 100 the week of the album's release.[15]

Tokyo Jihen embarked on an all-country promotional concert tour, "Ultra C" (ウルトラC?), in March 2010.[16]

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Ringo Sheena except where noted, translated into English by Robbie Clark and Mika Arata. All music arranged by Tokyo Jihen. 

CD
No. Title Lyrics Music Length
1. "Ikiru (生きる Living?)
(Official French title: Vivre)"  
  Ichiyō Izawa 5:26
2. "Denpa Tsūshin (電波通信 Radio-communication?)
(Official English title: Put Your Antenna Up)"  
  Izawa 3:24
3. "Season Sayonara
(Official English title: Season SAYONARA)"  
Ukigumo Ukigumo 3:38
4. "Kachi Ikusa
(Official English title: Win Every Fight)"  
  Sheena 3:28
5. "F.O.U.L.
(Official English title: FOUL)"  
Ukigumo Ukigumo 2:31
6. "Utenkekkō (雨天決行 Rain or Shine?)
(Official English title: Life Will Be Held Even If It Rains)"  
  Izawa 2:49
7. "Nōdōteki Sanpunkan (能動的三分間 Active 3min.?)
(Official English title: 3 min.)"  
  Sheena 3:00
8. "Zettai Zetsumei (絶体絶命 Desperate Situation?)
(Official English title: Life May Be Monotonous But The Sun Shines)"  
  Izawa, Sheena 3:06
9. "F.A.I.R.
(Official English title: FAIR)"  
  Ukigumo 3:55
10. "Noriki (乗り気 Anxiety?)
(Official English title: Ride Every Wave)"  
  Izawa 2:51
11. "Sweet Spot (スイートスポット?)
(Official English title: SWEET Spot)"  
  Sheena, Izawa 3:50
12. "Senkō Shōjo (閃光少女 Flash-girl?)
(Official English title: Put Your Camera Down)"  
  Seiji Kameda 2:59
13. "Kimaru (極まる Dying?)
(Official French title: Adieu)"  
Ukigumo Ukigumo 6:17

All official European language titles according to Ringo Sheena's website.[17]

Note this album tracks use the track simmetry (here topic and language mirroring, centered on track 7) as commonly used by Ringo Sheena in many of her albums.

Personnel[edit]

Charts and certifications[edit]

Chart procession and succession[edit]

Preceded by
Best Selection 2010 by Tōhōshinki
Oricon weekly number-one album
March 8, 2010
Succeeded by
Journey by Shota Shimizu

Content and structure[edit]

Track list symmetry
01. 生きる
Vivre
13. 極まる
Adieu
02. 電波通信
Put Your Antenna Up
12. 閃光少女
Put Your Camera Down
03. シーズンサヨナラ
Season SAYONARA
11. スイートスポット
SWEET Spot
04. 勝ち戦
Win Every Fight
10. 乗り気
Ride Every Wave
05. FOUL
FOUL
09. FAIR
FAIR
06. 雨天決行
Life Will Be Held
Even If It Rains
08. 絶体絶命
Life May Be Monotonous
But The Sun Shines
07. 能動的三分間
3 min.

The album, much like many of Sheena's solo works and the band's previous albums (such as Shōso Strip, Adult), features a symmetrical track list. Tracks are paired to another in title length, type of script and placement of grammatical particles. The official English titles given in the album's booklet also follow this theme (occasionally receiving non-direct translations to fit the theme).[22]

Ikiru and "Kimaru" are both plain-form verbs with a single kanji (in fact, the standard reading of "極まる" is "kiwamaru"). Both songs end with a band arrangement and begin with a sparsely arranged section.

Denpa Tsūshin and "Senkō Shōjo" are both songs with four kanji in their titles. Both deal with electricity in some way.

Season Sayonara and "Sweet Spot" are both written in katakana. Both titles feature two words that begin with s sounds.

Kachiikusa and "Noriki" are both set phrases associated with sports. Both are continuative verb/noun compounds, with two kanji and one hiragana character.

F.O.U.L. and "F.A.I.R." are both English words in Latin script. Unlike some previous pairs, such as "Meisai" and "Ishiki" which name the paired song in the lyrics, neither song is named in "F.A.I.R." (but both are named in "F.O.U.L.").

Utenkekkō and "Zettai Zetsumei" are four kanji compounds that are set phrases associated with sports.

In the vein of Kalk Samen Kuri no Hana and Sanmon Gossip, the central song with no paired track was the leading promotional song ("Nōdōteki Sanpunkan").

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b "東京事変 DISCOGRAPHY". Retrieved 2010-01-06. 
  2. ^ "【12/20蘋果日報】椎名林檎愛月球漫步 從MV跳到賣口香". 2009-12-20. Retrieved 2010-01-06. 
  3. ^ "Tokyo Jihen "Sports" | The Japan Times Online". Search.japantimes.co.jp. 2010-02-19. Retrieved 2012-03-10. 
  4. ^ "東京事変 « Rolling Stone(ローリングストーン) 日本版". Rolling Stone Japan. March 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-20. 
  5. ^ "Discography". Kronekodow. Retrieved 2012-06-02. 
  6. ^ "閃光少女 - Single". iTunes (Apple Inc.). Retrieved 2010-01-06. 
  7. ^ "「閃光少女」オフィシャル・インタビュー". EMI Music Japan. Retrieved 2010-01-06. 
  8. ^ "東京事変 「閃光少女」がCMソングに決定!". Vibe-Net. 2007-11-15. Retrieved 2010-01-06. 
  9. ^ "椎名林檎がCM初出演、テーマソングは「能動的三分間」". Natalie. 2009-11-17. Retrieved 2009-12-16. 
  10. ^ "椎名林檎、キスミントのCM第2弾「遠心力編」に出演!". Kronekodow. Retrieved 2010-02-03. 
  11. ^ Hot 100|JAPAN Charts|Billboard JAPAN 2010/02/01
  12. ^ レコード協会調べ 2010年01月13日~2010年01月19日 <略称:レコ協チャート(「着うたフル(R)」)>
  13. ^ 出演者ライナップ 2010/02/19. Music Station (in Japanese). Retrieved 2010-02-11. 
  14. ^ "スイートスポット - Single 東京事変". iTunes. 2010-02-08. Retrieved 2010-02-11. 
  15. ^ Hot 100|JAPAN Charts|Billboard JAPAN 2010/03/08
  16. ^ "東京事変2年半ぶりニューアルバムは「スポーツ」". Natalie.mu. 2009-12-14. Retrieved 2010-01-06. 
  17. ^ 大発見. website (in Japanese). kronekodow. Retrieved 2012-05-31. 
  18. ^ "2010年02月22日~2010年02月28日のCDアルバム週間ランキング" (in Japanese). Retrieved 2011-06-02. 
  19. ^ 2010年オリコン年間ランキング アルバム (in Japanese). Oricon. December 20, 2010. Retrieved June 2, 2012. 
  20. ^ "iTunesの木村カエラ、AKB48ほかベストセラー楽曲100曲をプレゼント!" (in Japanese). mynavi. December 31, 2010. Retrieved 2012-07-16. 
  21. ^ ゴールド等認定作品一覧 2010年2月 (in Japanese). RIAJ. Retrieved 2012-06-02. 
  22. ^ See the official Kronekodow website.

External links[edit]