Review Summary: please respondThere is something, that comes suddenly like a wind on a warm summer's evening. It takes you off guard, and leaves you without peace. It follows you like a shadow, and it's impossible to shake. I don't know what it is, so I can only call it love
Those were my sentiments upon first gracing my ears with the beauty of this album. Most -if not all- music can't click on it's own. We have to combine it with a person, a memory, a place, a movie, hell, even a colour. Only then does it take full effect and makes itself a part of our life, when we, consciously or subconsciously, offer it a gateway, a vessel to travel to our inner world. And it is all for the better when it comes as a surprise. When we go into something expecting nothing and get out with so much to accompany us.
What can be heard here cannot really be fit into a category or genre, at least I'm not aware of it. I can hear elements of electronic and rock music, swing, all sorts of avant-gardisms and even a harspichord. In the same vein life flashes before your eyes before you die, while listening to this album almost every musical experience you've had passes through your ears like a puzzle of musical pieces you didn't know were supposed to fit next to each other but frankly they do. No don't get me wrong, this is not a random mish-mash of genres and sounds, nor does it really include EVERYTHING you've heard but it is fresh (and warm) in such an exciting way that it doesn't leave room for generalizations.
I won't detail every track separately but suffice to say that this avant-garde brand of j-rock (if I dare use that term that I am not familiar with at all) changes moods a few times and the musical textures are very rich and fun to explore. Shiina's vocals are all sorts of beautiful, playful and ambitious at the same time. There's a fair deal of experimentation that goes beyond the use of various instruments and styles and a few samples as well to breathe life into the whole thing (as if it needs it, it's the most lifeful album I've listened to).
It could be the fact that I don't understand a word that she sings but everytime the album is over I feel like I went through a thousand Japanese films, hundreds of images conjured to fit the musical enviroment and shape it's boundaries in my brain, what part of me it can or cannot affect. I could praise it for it's musical prowess alone or for the fact it travels me to so many places without even being "atmospheric" music or simply because it is impossible to grasp.
Dedicated to a fair amount of days.