Continued from the last post on 'Pedal', the first song of the 3rd album, 'Teenager'.
Even though I am aware of the fact that each Fujifabric fan has his/her special loved part of the song, please allow me to introduce my favourite parts - 'the sound of many instruments coming into the music one after another to give impact and dynamism', 'beautiful chorus', 'a vivid description of the scene and emotion based on Shimura's delicate sensitivity in the lyrics'.
Let's take a look at the beginning part of the song.
The sound of several musical instruments (key boards, acoustic guitar) come together after one another forming an unpredictable feeling and excitement to the listeners. If being categorized, the music belongs to rock for sure, but the song is beyond such an accomplished fact and it even makes us feel our soul is cleansed after listening to 'Pedal'. I personally feel that I take off from the ground and fly away to the sky when listening to the music with my eyes closed.
Then, Shimura kun starts singing in his calm voice.
Let's move on to the lyrics of the song.
Flowers often play an important role in Fujifabric's songs, and so as in 'Pedal'. Orange and pinky flowers are the first characters in the song.
'It can't be helped to feel dazzled when watching orange and pink flowers in bloom, can it?'
The expression on flowers in the lyrics of some songs, such as 'Pedal' and 'Naimono Nedari' (in 'Chronicle') makes me feel that Shimura fully understands and highly evaluates the virtue of 'ungreat' flowers in the garden and streets. Probably some people say that is "vitality of wild flowers", "careless grace","the botany of flowers and trees which cannot move where you are once you settle down", "the attitude? of plants which accept their destiny calmly and try to live strongly spreading its roots", and so on.
But Shimura sums up a charm of flowers in only one sentence - "It can't be helped to feel dazzled when watching orange and pink flowers in bloom, can it?".
Not until here that the bass drums join the music adding the depth to the song.
Many different sounds (key boards, electrical guitar, cymbals, etc) come together gradually, and keeps going till the climax.
A charm of Fujifabric cannot be explained without key boards, and 'Pedal' consists of so many different sounds of key boards, too. Please try to listen to this song once with earphones on with your eyes closed at a quiet place. You can 'feel' how well-composed the song is listening to the diversity of key boards' sound.
"Chorus" is another standpoint which adds depth to the music of Fujifabric.
As Shimura was a member of a chorus group in his junior high school when he was a student in Fujiyoshida City (the song called "Daichi Sansho" that Shimura sung with his friends was on before the stage screen was risen in the concert in his hometown in May 2008 and also in Fuji Fuji Fuji Q), he seems to have paid an extra attention to the sound of chorus in his music - the layers of delicate human voices and applied to not religious music but to rock music.
In the interview of "Ongaku To Kotoba" (literally meaning, "Music and Words" published on 25th March 2009), Shimura said, "Music is mathematical by all means, like how to put up cords and scales. But not the lyrics. We cannot guess when a person busts in tears.", when an interviewer made a comment on 'Pedal' that the lyrics is very interesting as two different elements - fundamental literary one and scientific one of exercising mental images in a numerable sense - exist together.
(the part of the lyrics being pointed out is
"a straight line of vapour trail high up in the sky comes vertical to the direction where I am heading to
the line gets blurred gradually now forming a curve"
In a way, a chorus is put in the music following a mathematical method, but because it is by human voices, it also expresses something 'calculations' cannot explain, I think.
Just for a little knowledge, please let me explain how bicycles are used as a way of transportation in Japan.
Japanese is one of the world top countries in the number of bicycles in use. There are 84,810,000 bicycles registered in Japan (in 2000), which means 1 bicycle/1.5 person. Japan is on a same level as Holland, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Sweden, and much more than USA, China, UK, France and Italy.
In the West, bicycles are thought to be a kind of vehicles like a car and a bus, but in Japan, it is in general considered to be something on the same level as pedestrians.
Therefore, many junior high and high school students in countryside use bicycles to go to school and we often use them to go somewhere in a short distance.
The 'normal' bicycles in town are not sporty ones leaning forward, but the ones you sit comfortably with a basket in front. Shimura kun has never mentioned what kind of bicycle he meant in the lyrics, but it could be one of those.
Enjoy listening to 'Pedal'!