Yo Ho! WeRCatz here!

As I surfed through YouTube, a random video about sampled music popped up. I clicked on it and to my surprise, the “meme” song “Crystal Dolphin” by Engelwood was in it. This artist sampled the “do-do-do” part from another artist: Kingo Hamada. The song used will be explained below.

Released in 1982, Hamada’s Midnight Cruisin’ is a mix of City Pop, Funk, Jazz-Funk, Album-Oriented Rock, and Soul. I was curious to hear the album in its entirety and I wasn’t disappointed. Midnight Cruisin’ is a head-bumping groove that will work any time of the day though preferably at night.

Let’s look at this album:

“Dakare Ni Kita Onna” opens the album with a nice groove that sounds like it can be played in the US with no problems. I don’t know Japanese, but the hook of the chorus will tell you that you don’t need to know the language to appreciate a great song. The title translates to “The Woman Who Came to Hold Me.”

“Yokogao No Taxi Driver” translates to “Profile Taxi Driver.” It sounds like a ballad involving a taxi driver due to some of the lyrics. Musically, this composition is well made.

“So, I Love You” is a love song (I think). The chorus is reminiscent of the song “Baby Come Back” by Player.

“Machi No Dorufin” is loosely translated as “Dolphin in Town.” This is the song sampled by Engelwood and used as a meme. This is a great piece of City Pop. The song is about a dolphin taking a trip into town with a little boy being his only witness; that boy grew up to be a sailor and tells this story to the narrator. The “meme” part used starts at the 2:38 mark.

“Honoka Na Iryujon” translates to “Faint Illusion.” It sends an un-love vibe but nevertheless a great ballad.

“Midnight Cruisin'” is the title track of the album. This is funky with City Pop, and the lyric “Midnight mmmCruisin'” leaves you hooked. This track goes perfectly when driving around Downtown at night.

“Semete Karari To Harete Kure” translates to “At Least Please Clear Up.” It reminds me of the chorus of “Dreamweaver” by Gary Wright but with some reggae in it.

“Shower Room No Aru Fukei” translates to “Landscape With Shower Room.” Sounds like a fancy lounge room sound, but with strings.

“Mayonaka No Tennis Coat” could be translated as “Midnight Tennis Court.” Sounds like a slow dance song but retaining some album-oriented rock. A slow, feel-good finish to a great album.

Midnight Cruisin’ is as fresh today as it was back in 1982 and can serve as an inspiration to other artists. Give it a go when you cruise in your own downtown at night.