TK From Ling Tosite Sigure
Flowering


4.0
excellent

Review

by Kyle Robinson USER (32 Reviews)
October 6th, 2012 | 11 replies | 1,265 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Everything gripping about Ling Tosite Sigure, with some intriguing new ideas in the mix.

2 of 2 thought this review was well written

Every Ling Tosite Sigure album, single, and EP has maintained a consistently high degree of quality. Few bands manage to strike such a deep vein of creativity, and Sigure's success is all the more impressive when one considers that their sound has evolved very slowly from one record to the next. Their last two albums show modest signs of change, incorporating more introspective and atmospheric moments into the mix, but they're still a predominantly loud, aggressive band. So when singer and guitarist Toru Kitajima (usually stylized as TK) decided to release a solo album, nobody really knew what to expect.

As it turns out, TK's solo music isn't that much different from his main band. The biggest change is scope – while Sigure is a power trio with few overdubs and a basic guitar/drums/bass sound, Flowering let TK work outside of the confines of the trio to collaborate with however many musicians he wanted. Here, there are strings, piano, and a different flavor to the bass playing (courtesy of Hidekazu Hinata, of ex-Zazen Boys/Straightener/Nothing's Carved In Stone fame.) TK still sings in a high-pitched voice, although he uses his falsetto in a gentler way on many songs, and he still plays intricate, melodic guitar parts that sound very different from cliché shredding guitar heroics we all know.

The faster tracks, like Abnormal Trick and 12th Laser, are as fierce as any Sigure tracks, and the extra instrumentation doesn't bog them down. The glitchy production techniques, particularly on the former, give it a unique flavor that's only been slightly explored on Sigure's records. But in some important ways, Flowering is a digression from Sigure's music. Acoustic guitar has a stronger presence than in Sigure, as well as piano; Haze is a fast but almost upbeat song, a first for Kitajima, and Daylily and Fourth are gentle, introspective songs that are a far cry from the relentless assault of the Sigure's debut album. In a true testament to TK's musical consistency, they don't sound out of place with his other work. White Silence and Film A Moment were part of TK's short film Film A Moment last year, and still sound good here, the latter in particular benefiting from Hinata's new bass track as it develops over seven minutes. These tracks are the closest thing to straight-out prog or post-rock that TK has created since Sigure's early demos.

The best songs might be the ones that stray farthest from Sigure territory, like Phase To Phrase, which is probably the best song on the album. A whirling array of fluid electric guitars and piano playing ride on propulsive drumming in a way that suggests, this is what it sounds like when a rock band plays electronic music. In fact, many of the songs have surprisingly entrancing moments that aim for musical emotions and textures outside of rock orthodoxy while not forgetting that this is still a rock album. TK's understated vocals float and stutter over the melody to good effect. These adventurous forays into post-rock atmospherics and electronic influences suggest that TK is far from running out of ideas.

Ultimately, one's appreciation of Flowering is going to hinge on what they like about Sigure. It's not likely to win over listeners who already dislike the former band and TK's voice – which has already placed him in the Geddy Lee and Claudio Sanchez Hall Of Divisive Vocalists – or those who exclusively prefer Sigure's more aggressive, harder edge. However, if you like how the group has gradually branched out over their last two albums or so, chances are that you'll find something to like in Flowering, too.



Recent reviews by this author
The Pillows Please Mr. LostmanThe Pillows Happy Bivouac
The Pillows Little BustersThe Sundays Reading, Writing and Arithmetic
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart Days of AbandonAnamanaguchi Endless Fantasy
user ratings (19)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
Kyle Robinson (4)
Everything gripping about Ling Tosite Sigure, with some intriguing new ideas in the mix....


Comments:Add a Comment 
MisterTornado
Contributing Reviewer
October 5th 2012



4507 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

album's pretty sweet

mindleviticus
October 5th 2012



8171 Comments


I like what you're digging MisterTornado. Good review, album's alright though

pizzamachine
October 5th 2012



12571 Comments


Great review, I'm sure I'll like this.

Captain North
October 5th 2012



6779 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yesyesyesyesyesyes. TK is the man. Don't entirely understand why he had to go solo for this, but doesn't matter.

MisterTornado
Contributing Reviewer
October 6th 2012



4507 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Gotta get on that Mindle, hot album

amanwithahammer
October 6th 2012



401 Comments


I probably agree with 4, never listened to this as much as I should have though. Will give it a few more spins soon!

ViperAces
October 6th 2012



12377 Comments


Baseline would dig.

instantradical
October 6th 2012



200 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Captain North: I think it was because TK wanted to work outside of the confines of the power trio. This was a great idea, actually; it would have really annoyed me if strings, guest musicians, etc. started showing up in Sigure's music, but I like it here. Releasing a solo album let TK experiment with softer textures and larger arrangements without coming across as a sell-out.

Captain North
October 6th 2012



6779 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah, I figured it was the whole power trio thing, but they'd already started to mildly experiment on Still a Virgin. This is a very obvious next step from that album, and I wouldn't have minded if it was under Sigures name. Hell, it effectively is seeing as he makes sure to state he's from them in the title.

And he writes all the parts for Sigure too, so it's like...it was already effectively a solo effort. But eh, technicalities aside I love this so much. First 5 tracks especially.

instantradical
October 6th 2012



200 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well, I guess I like this more because the band couldn't perform these songs live as just a trio without losing a lot. It always bugs me when bands have to start calling in guest musicians to play stuff live.

I actually didn't like this album a whole lot at first, but it's really grown on me; I think every track is great and it's pretty much as a strong as a real Sigure album.

Captain North
October 6th 2012



6779 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Ah fair enough. Being an Aussie makes my chances of ever seeing them live miniscule. But I fully intend on visiting Japan one, and I shall have to time it to correspond with a Sigure concert. They're my favourite band so I gotta see them at least once.

Ahh, I loved it from the get go. I can still remember the pleasant shiver of excitement as TKs Jonsi like vocals started on Flowering



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy