Mariya Takeuchi “Trad” (Warner Music Japan)
There are few certainties in the Japanese music industry nowadays, but two trends are definitely sale-driving locks for major labels. First is the trick of turning CDs into glorified containers for more valuable items such as the AKB48 handshake-event ticket or the somehow-more-ridiculous high-five-a-guy-from-Exile voucher being golden examples that spike sales. The other is good ol’ nostalgia, which has been especially successful over the past month: Dreams Come True hit No. 1 on the album chart, Southern All Star’s “Tokyo Victory” did the same on the singles side and now 1980s J-pop staple Mariya Takeuchi’s new original album “Trad” has claimed two weeks at the top of Oricon — and still lingers in the top 10.