Ironic Clown

Salyu (Lily Chou-Chou) – Kokyu
June 3, 2009, 9:06 pm
Filed under: Lily Chou-Chou, Salyu

Salyu (Lily Chou Chou) - Kokyu

Track list:
1. Arabesque
2. Ai no Jikken
3. Erotic
4. Hikousen
5. Kaifuku Suru Kizu
6. Houwa
7. Tobenai Tsubasa
8. Kyoumei
9. Glide

Kokyu is Salyu’s debut album, however it is not recognised as an ~official~ Salyu album because it was released under the artist name of Lily Chou-Chou for the movie All About Lily Chou-Chou. It was released on the 17th of October, 2001.

When the producers of the Japanese movie All About Lily Chou-Chou, also known as Riri Shushu no Subete decided that Salyu should play the fictional pop goddess Lily Chou-Chou, who helps insecure teenagers survive school-life through her melodic voice, they made the right decision. If you are familiar with and of Salyu’s later work you will be aware of her distinctive voice, but with Lily Chou-Chou her voice is much different. It sounds calmer, smoother and although it may not be as strong it still is pleasant to listen to.

If you’re not into slow moving and droopy music then unfortunately this album may not be for you, but if you are one whom likes emotional and somewhat depressing music then this album is a must listen. While Salyu in this album may be bland in terms of her singing she manages to capture the overall depressing mood of the album. In no ways is Kokyu a happy album. It’s subtle and melodramatic, but nonetheless brilliant. While some songs such as Kaifuku Suru Kizu may bore because of the lack of climax and interesting arrangement the majority of the album is presented nicely through simple arrangements and and sullen vocals.

By far the most depressing and best song on the album is Hikousen which is a piece of art in its own right. Only consisting of the lyrics “I miss you” and a few Japanese lines it is the epitome of the album. The arrangement, the vocals and the lyrics all come together as one and create one of the most hauntingly depressing, yet beautiful songs of the decade. I’m not joking… it’s that good!

If you’re looking for something that shies away from mainstream then look no further. Kokyu shall we say, is a very “different” album. It’s not a feel good album that will make you think the world is full of flowers after you listen to… quite the opposite actually. I wouldn’t describe Kokyu as a pop album, instead it fits better into the alternative album and I must say there’s no other albums out there quite like this.

While Kokyu has its ups, it’s not complete without its downs. On the most parts the arrangements, while simple, are interesting to however there is the odd occasion where the arrangements can get boring. The same can be said about Salyu’s vocals. In Houwa Salyu’s vocals are modified to make them have a more rugged; however this makes the arrangement take over and drown out the vocals which isn’t a pretty thing. Kyoumei although presented better also suffers the same fate in terms of arrangements drowning out Salyu’s voice.

Kokyu worked on a personal level for me, the album had an emotional edge which could not possibly be present in a mainstream album. Some songs (mainly Hikousen) where heartbreaking and oh so hauntingly beautiful. All I can say about albums like Kokyu is that there simply aren’t enough released.

Salyu has proved that you really can make an album appeal on a personal level. She has released something that is totally original and that can’t compare to any other out there. It’s a shame that she hasn’t released any more albums as emotional as this. As I have said earlier Salyu may not have very powerful vocals on this album, but the vocals she’s displayed on Kokyu work well with the music, however in a few instances they let her down as do the arrangements that sound her voice. Putting it simply; if you’re into a emotional and original album then look no further.


Arabesque | Ai no Jikken | Erotic | Hikousen |  Tobenai Tsubasa | Guide

Kaifuku Suru Kizu | Houwa | Kyoumei


Overall Rating:
4 Stars
4 stars 

Lily Chou Chou