Boomkat Product Review:
Ms. Kanenobu billed as Japan's first female singer-songwriter, and Misora is her debut album from 1972.
Originally released on Japanese independent label, URC, the album was produced by the legendary Harry Hosono of Yellow Magic Orchestra and Happy End. The songs themselves all sound like they've come from an American folk-rock background, with 'Leave It To Time' for example, sounding very Judee Sill complete with some vintage slide guitar bolstering its FM-friendly country rock aesthetic.
The production here is surely a key to this album's enduring appeal, especially in the way the rhythm section is recorded: 'Blue Fish' achieves something close to that Harvest-era Jack Nitzsche sound that Jim O'Rourke (understandably) spends so much of his career chasing. Importantly though, producer, Hosono has found enough different ways of recording a stripped-down acoustic guitar and vocals combo to reinforce each song's individuality. Oddly, science fiction writer, Philip K. Dick was one of Kanenobu's biggest fans, not only encouraging her to restart her music career in the '80s but actually executive producing her 1981 comeback single, which was planned as a precursor to a full album with Dick at the helm, a plan eventually thwarted by the author's death the following year. Nevertheless, Kanenobu's long-delayed sophomore album was eventually released in 1992. There seems to be so many albums branded as 'lost classics' getting reissued at the moment, but Misora might just be that.