Manami: Jungolden Night

Jungolden Night is the new release from Okinawan singer Manami who had a big success at this month’s Orion Music Festival in Ginowan with her warm onstage personality and energetic songs. In fact, Manami and Orion beer are very strongly connected as no less than three of the songs on this recording, including the title track, have been used in television commercials for the island’s beer.

There is little which could be called roots music on this eight track album though there is one song ‘Niraikanai’ which shows some Okinawan musical influences and contains lyrics in which Manami celebrates her island home. For the rest this is straightforward pop and is very much a joint effort between Manami who writes all the words and her younger brother Daisuke Nakamura who composes all the music and supplies keyboards and programming. The pair produced the album together.


The weakest moments are when Manami attempts a ballad such as ‘Lonely Yesterday’. It’s just too bland and predictable and she begins to sound like every other singer-songwriter from Japan that you’ve ever listened to. Fortunately, these moments are few and the bulk of this short album comprises more interesting, lively and dynamic songs. ‘Jungolden Night’, ‘Start Line’, ‘Fanfare’ and ‘Best Friend’ are all based around catchy tunes with simple but enormously addictive synths and beats driving everything along. It may not be katcharsee but you’ll still want to dance.

Jungolden Night is released on Siesta. Manami tours in November and is at Okinawa Music Town Oto-Ichiba (17th) and then Tokyo (22nd). Full details are on Manami’s website where there is also a music video for the song ‘Jungolden Night’.

Explore posts in the same categories: Okinawan Albums

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