Yasashii Hana (Piano Hikigatari) / やさしい花(ピアノ弾き語り): “Gentle Flowers” (solo piano version)
yasashii / やさしい
hana / 花
It’s that time again for “May flowers”, although I think I’ve almost run out of songs with that theme.
Yasashii Hana is Oku Hanako’s first single and debut release as a major artist, being released in 2005. It was a CM song for a JA Kyosai service dog commercial. (If anyone can find the commercial, leave the link in the comments! )
This isn’t one that I would usually spring for (pun intended?), but as with almost all of her songs, especially the early ones, it’s a beautiful song. It evokes an intimate mood, one that if you were with someone you love, you’d be content to just be with them and not say anything.
This song comes in two versions: the regular arranged version, and this piano hikigatari version. I chose to post the hikigatari version first because I prefer it over the arranged version; although the arranged version is arguably sung better and sounds fuller, there’s just something about the arrangement that annoys me slightly and I don’t know what.
It has a very clean and clear sound. She sings the strong melody very well and the introduction of the instrument voices is well timed. At first, I didn’t like how the bridge was low in energy, but after listening to it a few times, I realized that it was : the low energy is contrary to the expected, making the song more interesting to listen to. Besides, this is Oku Hanako, and it’s not unusual for her to do something unexpected. The song fades out and ends satisfyingly, yet it left me wanting more, in part because the song is shorter than average.
Funny, I recall not liking this song the first time I heard it and I avoided it for a few months. The issue was probably similar my first experience with Peter Cetera’s The End of Camelot: my sound was muted. If it wasn’t that, then I probably wasn’t in a mood to hear too many synth sounds, not that this song has too many of those. I’m glad this happened, though, because I’m sure I wouldn’t have such a deep appreciation for this song without it. After all, a struggle makes things more desirable, and I should know.
It’s brilliant! What makes it even more impressive is that this song was released on her first major release: her first single, Yasashii Hana / やさしい花 (2005; track 2). If I weren’t paying attention, I would think that this was released on Koi Tegami / 恋手紙 (2008).
Any louder and I think I’d blow my eardrums. *thud*