Cindy
Angel Touch


5.0
classic

Review

by GmemberKills USER (7 Reviews)
July 4th, 2024 | 8 replies


Release Date: 1990 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Death Of City Pop

Mayumi Yamamoto, better known by her stage name Cindy, was a force to be reckoned with in the Japanese music scene of the 1980s and 1990s. While her talents as a performer were undeniable, it was her work as a composer, crafting hits for mega idol star Miho Nakayama, that truly set her apart. Cindy's collaboration with the legendary Stevie Wonder, who mentored her and produced her debut album, is a testament to her extraordinary talent and the high esteem in which she was held by her musical peers.

Released in 1990, "Angel Touch" is a stunning showcase of Cindy's vocal prowess, her deep understanding of the city pop and R&B genres, and her ability to infuse each track with a distinctive charm that remains captivating to this day. From the smooth, lush opening track "Surprise," which sees Cindy's silky vocals gliding effortlessly over a soundscape of shimmering synths and groovy basslines, to the funkier, dance-floor-ready numbers that follow, the album is a non-stop thrill ride of infectious beats and irresistible hooks.

Take, for example, the album's third track, "Destiny." This six-minute masterclass in funky dance pop is infused with the infectious energy of the New Jack Swing style that was taking the world by storm in the early 1990s. With its undeniable swagger and Cindy's powerhouse vocals, "Destiny" is a song that's impossible not to move to – you'd have to be utterly soulless to resist its charms.

The album also features moments of ethereal beauty, like the aforementioned opener "Surprise," along with the sensual ambient interludes "When Tomorrow Comes" and its reprise, which feel like natural extensions of the album's overall sound and vision. And when the album does slow down with a couple of more traditional slow ballads, Cindy's performances prevent these tracks from dragging down the album's momentum.

One of the standout tracks on the album is "Watashitachi o shinjiteite (私達を信じていて)" which is arguably the most popular song on the record. The song immediately captivates with its dreamy atmosphere and opening keys and guitar notes that perfectly set the stage for her heartfelt vocals. The lyrics, despite being sung entirely in Japanese, carry a powerful and universal message about never giving up, no matter how difficult life may become. Many speculate that the song was dedicated to her son, adding an extra layer of emotional depth to the track. Cindy's ability to convey this sentiment through her vocals alone makes the song feel special, and the feeling is only further elevated once one dives into the lyrics.

Throughout the album, Cindy's performances are bolstered by top-notch production that allows each instrument to shine. The funk-inspired guitar work, jazzy piano chords, and electronic flourishes are woven together seamlessly, creating a sound that is both nostalgic and timeless. And with its seamless blend of English and Japanese lyrics, "Angel Touch" is an album that should be able to win over even some listeners who can't seem to get past the language barrier.

Released at a time when city pop was almost on life support, "Angel Touch" somewhat feels like a last gasp of the genre. The album manages to perfectly encapsulate the essence of city pop while also incorporating the more emerging pop trends of the time. This unique blend of influences makes "Angel Touch" stand out as a crowning achievement of the genre, a fitting endcap to the city pop era.

Sadly, despite her immense talent, Cindy never achieved the level of solo success she deserved during her lifetime. Her untimely passing from cancer in 2001 meant that she never had the opportunity to witness the growing appreciation for her work in recent years. But as more music enthusiasts discover the brilliance of "Angel Touch," the album has begun to cement its status as a classic.

In a world that often feels increasingly disconnected from the past, "Angel Touch" serves as a reminder of the enduring power of well-crafted pop music. It's an album that transports the listener to a specific time and place, while simultaneously transcending the boundaries of its era and language. For fans of city pop, R&B, or a e s t h e t i c, "Angel Touch" is a classic that deserves to be celebrated, and serves as a good introduction to the broader world of Japanese pop music from this era.



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user ratings (4)
3.9
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
GmemberKills
July 4th 2024


4487 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

First ever 5 review. I really love this album and felt it needed one. Plus Sput could always use a bit more J-Pop love, Hopefully i get a few people on board.



TheTripP
July 5th 2024


4569 Comments


idk why but your review convinced me to check out this 1990's album I never would have heard otherwise, pos

GmemberKills
July 5th 2024


4487 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

aye that's awesome! I'm sure it won't be everyone's cup of tea, but based on the pop music I see some sput folks jam I think it deserves a shot.



let me know if you dig any of it or not

GmemberKills
July 8th 2024


4487 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

yall know yall wanna jam this

Get Low
July 13th 2024


14383 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Excellent review. Checked this last night and loved it.

GmemberKills
July 13th 2024


4487 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

YO!!!! thx. That is so cool! Didn't look like you had jammed a lot of J-Pop before so i wasn't completely sure how you'd feel.



feel free to spam this thread with any thoughts on it lol

Get Low
July 14th 2024


14383 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"Didn't look like you had jammed a lot of J-Pop before so i wasn't completely sure how you'd feel."



I like some J-pop but I find a lot of artists from the past, particularly from the city pop era, to be inconsistent. This album, however, is quality from start to finish.



"feel free to spam this thread with any thoughts on it lol"



I will make sure to never bump this so that no one sees it.

GmemberKills
July 14th 2024


4487 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

That is completely fair. As much as I love J-pop from that era a lot of albums do sometimes feel like they are carried by their singles, still plenty of exceptions though.





bet. forever a dead sput thread lol



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