If you like funk or 80s pop and if you’re a Japan enthusiast then you must have encountered Mariya Takeuchi’s Plastic Love on Youtube as the song’s popularity has skyrocketed back in 2017.
Plastic Love is a 1984 Japanese city pop single from Japanese idol Mariya Takeuchi, an artist who’s had her fair share of success in her own country in the 80s. Now Youtube is exposing Mariya’s work to a more international audience.
The more interesting part about Plastic Love’s success is the fact that the song is in Japanese, and here lies Mariya’s masterwork in producing a song that transcends language barriers with its funky and groovy instrumentals and Mariya’s own passionate vocals.
A staple of city pop, a Japanese 70s music wave that peaked in popularity in the early 1980s, the genre is now being revived following the recent resurgence of vaporwave, future funk and lo-fi hip hop.
Nostalgia plays a big part in Plastic Love’s and the genre’s appeal, allowing Youtube’s algorithms to boost the song’s reach to turn it into an international cultural icon and a “meme” for nostalgic youth.
All in all the song is a lyrical and musical masterpiece about the nature of love and relationships at an incremental turning point in Japan’s history where tradition and heritage were being left behind in favor of technological progress, westernized culture and “plastic.”
Yassine Ben Ahmed
JET Press Team