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Kalk Samen Kuri no Hana

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CD Art
Artist
Shiina Ringo
Album
Kalk Samen Kuri no Hana (加爾基 精液 栗ノ花; Lime, Semen, Chestnut Flower)
Released
2003.02.23
Catalog Number
TOCT-24942 (original printing - copy controlled CD)
TOCT-26578 (second printing - normal CD, released 2008.07.02)
Price
¥3,059
Tracklist
  1. Shuukyou (宗教; Religion)
  2. Doppelgänger (ドッペルゲンガー)
  3. Meisai (迷彩; Camouflage)
  4. Odaiji ni (おだいじに; Take Care of Yourself)
  5. Yattsuke Shigoto (やっつけ仕事; A Half-Assed Job)
  6. Kuki (茎; Stem)
  7. Torikoshi Gurou (とりこし苦労; Over-anxiety)
  8. Okonomi de (おこのみで; As You Like It)
  9. Ishiki (意識; Consciousness)
  10. Poltergeist (ポルターガイスト)
  11. Souretsu (葬列; Funeral Procession)
  12. Ichijiku no Hana (映日紅の花(いちじくのはな; Fig Flower) (vinyl bonus track)


Information

"Kalk Samen Kuri" no Hana is Shiina Ringo's third album, which reached #1 in Oricon charts and charted for 20 weeks. Because the album sold 409,000 units, it became the #28 album of 2003 in Japan. The album reached #28 on World Charts and managed to chart for two weeks. This is the most perfected album that Shiina has made, as all of the lyrics are written in ancient Japanese style. There is orthographic symmetry among the song titles, and over 30 different types of instruments are played on this album. The length of the album is exactly 44:44. Each song merges into the song before it and after it, which all ends with a explosion of sound at the end of Souretsu. This was also released as a Vinyl, three months later. Everything about the album seems to be perfected and in a Japanese way, from the CD booklet being read from right to left and starting at what would be the back in western CD booklets (this is usually only seen in Enka CD's), to the track numbering being labeled in formal kanji script usually only seen in legal documents (壱、弐、参、肆、伍、陸、漆、捌、玖、拾、拾壱). The first press of this album also included a sticker (shown below). Under the sticker is a message written by Shiina.

The title for this album has been romanized so many different ways, because of its complexity. It may be seen as "Karuki Zaamen Kuri no Hana", "Kalk Zamen Kuri no Hana" or anything in between. It is difficult to translate because Shiina used obsolete kanji to sound out foreign words (words that the average English teacher would not know). The official pronunciation of this album is Karuki Zaamen Kuri no Hana (カルキ ザーメン クリノハナ) and the correct spelling is Kalk Samen Kuri no Hana, as per what the sides of the CD say. Shiina's name is listed as "Sheena Rinngo" on this release. The words of the title are:

  • 'Kalk' is the German word for lime.
  • 'Samen' is the German word for seed, which is a euphemism for semen.
  • 'Kuri no Hana' means 'Chestnut flower' in Japanese, and is the only part that has a consensus on it among romanisations.

Symmetry

Each track symmetrically relates to another at the opposite edge of the album, as follows:

  • Shuukyou (1) and Souretsu (11) - Both start with an 'S', and relate to religion. Shiina also sings is the same manner for these songs. The same orchestra, the Kuri no Hana Kahoru Orchestra (栗ノ花薫オーケストラ; Orchestra Scented with Chestnut Flowers) was used for both the songs. The conductor was Gotou Yuuichirou (後藤 勇一郎), the violinist/composer of the band The Dynamites. Kuri no Hana was one third of the title of this album. Lyrically, it is interesting to note that Shuukyou references death while Souretsu references birth and rebirth.
  • Doppelgänger (2) and Poltergeist (10) - Both are about the supernatural. As above, the Kuri no Hana Kahoru Orchestra was used for the background music. Both tracks have titles in Katakana with the same number of characters. Both titles are words borrowed from German language.
  • Meisai (3) and Ishiki (9) - Both were found on Stem ~Daimyou Asobi Hen~ single, in the same order around Stem (i.e. Meisai, Stem, then Ishiki, though on the album there are tracks in between). The same band was used for both these tracks, which was a temporary Shiina Ringo band called Himitsu Butai (秘密部隊) with Shiina Ringo as the conductor. Interestingly enough; lyrically, the song Meisai mentions the word 'ishiki' and while Ishiki does not mention the word 'meisai' specifically, the word 'camouflage' sung in katakana is used. (Meisai translates to camouflage.) This is the only pair of songs to do this.
  • Odaiji ni (4) and Okonomi de (8) - Both starting with the honorific 'o', coupled with a particle at the end and spelt in Hiragana. The same instruments/background musicians are used for these two songs.
  • Yattsuke Shigoto (5) and Torikoshi Kurou (7) - No apparent similarities between these two songs other than having exactly the same Kana/Kanji structure (Four kana followed by two kanji) and perhaps the fact that they are the most experimental and unusual songs from the album in terms of composition. There is most likely a special meaning for Shiina in these two songs that is not known about by the public.
  • Kuki (6) - Standing alone in the centre, it was the only single from the album. This is the only Shiina song prior to La Salle de Bain from her Ringo no Uta that had both English and Japanese versions of the lyrics.
  • The total album time is 44:44. Her previous album, Shouso Strip, had a run time of 55:55.

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