Review Summary: If it were not for the language barrier, Plastic Tree would be selling out concerts and winning awards in America and Europe as well as in Japan. This is one Japanese rock band that anyone with a love for alternative music must hear.
If you were to take bands like Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, and Radiohead (back in their Pablo Honey days), mash them together and then have them sing in Japanese, you would probably end up with a sound very similar to that of j-rock band Plastic Tree. Starting out as part of the visual-kei movement back in '95, Plastic Tree have pioneered a sound similar to American and British alt. rock bands, with a Japanese twist and signature vocal work courtesy of lead singer/guitarist Arimura Ryutaro. The band has released somewhere along the line of 12 albums (several being Best of collections), Chandelier being the latest.
The one aspect of the band that will either hook you to them or drive you away completely is the vocal work. Ryu's vocals sound very child-like, it's soft, but has that sort of innocent quality that has merited the comparison. This is why when you hear a song by PT, you know it's them. Throughout this album, Ryu showcases his signature voice through several different song styles (all executed quite well) by the band. Tracks like 37°C, Track 11, Namida Drop, Track 6, cage for rent and Sanbika are all pop-rock masterpieces, while tracks like Track 1, 2, 10, puppet talk, and ghost show off the groups harder hitting, grungy, even metal sound. There's even a bit of jazz thrown onto the album with Track 12, while the album closes with a Bonus Track that i can best describe as experimental pop. The album transverses quite well from song to song so that it's never a boring listen, no matter how many times you've heard the songs.
If it were not for the language barrier, Plastic Tree would be selling out concerts and winning awards in America and Europe as well as in Japan. This is one Japanese rock band that anyone with a love for alternative music must hear, it's a guaranteed good time.
- Arimura Ryutaro - Vocals, Guitar
- Nakayama Akira - Guitar
- Hasegawa Tadashi - Bass
- Sasabuchi Hiroshi - Drums
Namida Drop - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIai9z7okPg
Ghost - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X8bwxj6EKx0
Sanbika - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4WSqiIwyq0
(just in case you're wondering about the track listing, most of the song titles are in Japanese and i couldn't even find roma-ji translations, so i just titled them by which track they are on the album)