Shugo Tokumaru
L.S.T.


3.0
good

Review

by Eli EMERITUS
October 30th, 2010 | 15 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist


Shugo Tokumaru is perhaps the most disgustingly jovial musician out there. Utilizing a myriad of instruments, both whimsical and practical, Tokumaru has a reputation of creating very lighthearted yet incredibly creative music. Singing with a chill, yet charmingly child-like voice, the Japanese native can either be taken with a grain of salt, or be declared a musical genius. It all seems so contrived, but Tokumaru truly is a skilled and thoughtful artist, receiving praise for his abundance of sheer happiness in each record he creates. Yet his most early works display his creative process in the making. Not quite as gratuitously happy, “Night Piece” and “L.S.T,” differ somewhat from his later works. While both are very interesting in their own right, “L.S.T” seems to be the black sheep of the group.

“L.S.T” is an odd record in that it shows Tokumaru in transition. Situated between the grossly cute “Exit” and the more relaxed indie effort that was “Night Piece,” “L.S.T.” seems somewhat vapid in execution. Many trademarks are here, but as a whole the affair is rather dull. The very subdued nature of the album does not do it any favors either. The lackadaisical production is amiably laidback, but it makes the entire album feel weak and lifeless. Ultimately, this is the albums biggest failing. An album that fails to grab the listener’s interest is truly missing something vital, and “L.S.T.” is certainly missing something.

This is truly a shame, as the sheer dullness detracts from everything Tokumaru does well. The child-like aesthetics mixed with cool indie vibes are still here, albeit not as strong as on other records, but there presence is clearly here. The infectious acoustic guitar still sounds perfectly placed, as does Tokumaru’s low key but appropriate voice. The musician himself still sounds great, as his performance is as strong as ever. The airy and low key production bolsters the light atmosphere, making everything smooth and breezy. Although this all sounds wonderful, it doesn’t carry over into the songwriting. As stated previously,"L.S.T." is dull. The light and chill atmosphere sounds fantastic, but it is hard to perfectly capture through song, as it so often can cause an album to feel lifeless. This does carry throughout the ten tracks, as the album seems to meander about until its inevitable conclusion. The songs flow together as much as the meld together, making the whole affair rather homogenous. Songs like “Karte” and “Mist” standout, as they offer a bit more variation, and are really very good songs in their own right.

The album I love is in here somewhere. Sure, its buried underneath a glossy layer of tedium, but the truly brilliant artist I know is here. Whether it be through his cleverly placed instrumentation, or his calming and self assured vocals, Shugo Tokumaru’s presence is here. Sadly, there is just too little inspiration to be found, and “L.S.T.” ultimately suffers because of it.



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user ratings (10)
Chart.
4.5
superb

Comments:Add a Comment 
Xenophanes
Emeritus
October 30th 2010


10614 Comments


I love Shugo Tokumaru as much as the next guy, but this is a poor effort.

Night Piece is best!

Digging: Kayo Dot - Coffins On Io

JustJoe
October 31st 2010


1399 Comments


Intriguing, and well put. I pos'd. So many new albums to check out...

SeaAnemone
October 31st 2010


20559 Comments


oh man xeno with another ace review i agree with this guys too good

Digging: Dirty Beaches - Stateless

JustJoe
October 31st 2010


1399 Comments


He's out of control... in the best sense of the word. Keep up the good work, Xeno.

Xenophanes
Emeritus
October 31st 2010


10614 Comments


Thank you both, I appreciate it!

foreverendeared
October 31st 2010


14678 Comments


pretty great review, pos'd. I love Exit and Night Piece.

IRAI
October 31st 2010


1567 Comments


i really liked Port Entropy, so i plan on getting the rest of his stuff eventually. im guessing i shouldnt go here next.

ConsiderPhlebas
October 31st 2010


6157 Comments


Great review, man

pizzamachine
October 31st 2010


12571 Comments


Gooood review.

plane
Staff Reviewer
October 31st 2010


6094 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Easiest go-to Shugo record. I understand the sentiments, I used to agree with the opinions in this review, but sitting on this for two years has really broadened what appeared to be a flat record. Exit might still be my favorite.

Xenophanes
Emeritus
October 31st 2010


10614 Comments


Thanks everyone!

Yeah, It's a toss up between Exit and Night Piece. Exit was my first of his, so Its pretty special to me

Gyromania
October 31st 2010


15941 Comments


I can't keep up with you Elijah. Great review.

Digging: Lantlos - .neon

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
September 20th 2014


23909 Comments


not sure how much I like this one

Digging: RATKING - So It Goes

SeaAnemone
September 20th 2014


20559 Comments


I don't like it as much as his others
it's the "very good" one next to his excellent discography
it's not worse, or anything, I just don't get anything unique out of this unlike the different moods I find perfect for Exit or Night Piece or Port Entropy

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
September 25th 2014


23909 Comments


yeah but the lewis 5 is stopping me from giving this the 3.5 I want to

not embarrassed to admit that. in Lew we trust.



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