How many pop songs received an official music video decades after their first release? Well, this actually happened to Mariya Takeuchi’s 1984 tune Plastic Love. It took its record company, Warner Music Japan, until 2019 to issue an official music video. Before that, Plastic Love had become a smash hit on the Internet, accumulating millions of views on YouTube and other music sharing platforms.
Plastic Love and More
Plastic Love belongs to a subgenre of J-pop called Japanese City Pop. Stylistically, it is a blend of Western disco and funk music, spiced up with a bit of East-Asian flavor. The song tells the story of a woman who lost the man she truly loves. Any new guy pursuing her could not make her forget the loneliness she was feeling after her loss.
The comeback of Plastic Love and City Pop is closely linked to streaming and music sharing platforms.
Music You Thought You Knew
Andy Cabic of the American folk band Vetiver explains the music’s appeal to Westerners with its similarities to US West Coast pop. According to Cabic, the musical experience is like “a fresh listen to the stuff you may have already heard and thought you knew.”
Here are some favorites from my personal playlist of Japanese City Pop: