Go Back   Electric Mole Forums > Shiina Ringo & Tokyo Jihen > Product Reviews & Information
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Product Reviews & Information Discuss singles, albums, and DVDs.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 2011.06.28, 05:03 PM   #41
Tokyo Jihad
Senior Member
 
Tokyo Jihad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: San Antonio! Hoody Hoo
Posts: 5,008
Tokyo Jihad knows what you did last summerTokyo Jihad knows what you did last summer
Send a message via AIM to Tokyo Jihad
Default get ready for it

No matter what you think of me, and no matter what I may think of Tokyo Jihen; I love them. Above all, I love to write about them. I get to write uninhibited and put in the most obscure of facts and comparisons and none is lost on EMFers. As the day came closer, I began to dread it more and more. Flashes of Heisei Fuuzoku and Variety came flooding back. This was going to be one of those wasn’t it? More and more I looked over the songs that were going to be on it and shook my head. Dopamint, Tengoku e Youkosu, the showtune Onna no Ko wa daredemo. Nope. Not gonna happen.

The second I heard the album was internet-available though, I was psyched and had to get my mitt on it. Maybe I just don’t know to quit this band. They didn’t grow up to be the band I thought and hoped they could be, but at this point I know so much about them. It’s almost a waste to ignore them. I put the album in my Foobar queue last night, and just as I decided I was too tired to get through the album, the opening seconds of “Tengoku e Youkosu for the disc” trickled past my stop button. It certainly wasn’t the throwaway single I had heard before. Like a flip of a switch my expectations switched from dread to intrigue.

I contemplated eschewing a track-by-track review. But fuck it, here we go!

1. Tengoku e Youkoso for the Disc
: The first of three makeovers on the album. The scaled back arrangement is great and finally shows the band switching up their arrangements. A huge harbinger for the rest of the record, or at least Jihen from here on out. The rumbling drums and spastic instrumentation keeps you off-balance and is a great unconventional album opener.

2. Zettaichi tai Soutaichi: TJ sticks to form though in putting a high-energy song in the second track position. It’s got distorted guitars to spare, I can’t fault that, and some nice noises to go with the solo. Unfortunately the general melody leaves to be desired. If this was Sports I’d give it credit for being one of the better tracks, but luckily we get even better tracks.

3. Atarashii Bunmei-kaika
: Hyper j-pop. I dislike the sound. Zettaichi tai suffers from it as well. However, Bunmei-kaika is awfully catchy. The lack of catchy songs has been a big short fall on the band since basically ever. Save that Osca, Killer Tune crap; Bunmei-kaika is a breath of fresh air no matter what

4. Denki no nai Toshi
: The band lifts its foot off the pedal with this track and we coast into what I can best describe as Ariamaru Tomi – Piano version. And it’s nearly as good. Standout all around track on the album. Who says Izawa writes bad songs? Put this up there with Tegami and Pinochio please. The band does a great job to set up the album.

5. Kaitei ni Sukuu Otoku
: A typically uneven Ukigumo track (if internet writing credits are correct; it has Uki’s favored male harmony, so I believe it.) It sounds like the band tries to paste together several musical tropes from different genres, country, RnB, lounge music, rock and maybe just hope it works. It works in patches depending on how you feel towards these genres. The guitar solo outro is rather nice. Really, the band is tight on the track, but the song could have used some smoothing out.

6. Kinjirareta Asobi
: This song crawls in like the murkiest offerings from KZK and Adult. The band pulls out the extra reverb to build what is surely going to be a dark exploration. The band backs off immediately and pulls out of a conventional pop chorus not so far removed from songs like Bunmei-kaika or worse, Bokoku Jyousho. Pretty disappointing bait and switch.

7. Dopamint
! BPM 103: The original is one of the all time follies of this band. A million face palms could not do the original Dopamint single justice. The song got quite the makeover over winter-break though! It’s a miraculous turn around. The rising intensity of emotion as the song draws to a close is some of the best work “phase 2” has done. Does a great job of making me look past its cash grab origins.

8. Osorubeki Otona-tachi
: Early 90’s RnB, reminds me of a guy called Hudson Young (look him up, worth the effort!) Another surprisingly good song by the band. I long for rock and roll, I make no fronts about that. But I can’t fault this song. It’s really good and it hits all the right spots for a RnB track to hit. Catchy to boot. EMF defended Sanpukkan to the hilt, but that was RnB at its least arousing. This is your bread and butter, RnB kids. Good lord, is this the same band that released those terrible Adult Video remakes?

9. 21 seki Uchuu no Kou
: Rather unassuming hyper pop. I’ll give the band credit. In years past this song would have been full of copycat riffs of other songs, show off bass, would have sped up in the chorus only to come to a crashing halt the next verse until the band goes into hyper-drive to finish the song for no reason. None of this happens here. Thank goodness for that. Pretty vanilla, but at least the band didn’t drag it down.

10. Katsute wa Otoko to Onna
: Another RnB track, and I think Osorubeki Otona-tachi and the previous song set it up pretty nicely. Rather mellow, and a few shades of bland, but Osorubeki built up enough good will for this song. Hata’s drumming particularly comes across. This closes the RnB portion of the album nicely and sets us up for the home stretch.

11. Sora ga Natteiru
: Loved this song off the bat. It’s my bag. Picks the energy back up. With one glaring exception we’ll get to soon, the closing tracks of the album greatly mirror the album’s beginning. Its classic rock done right. Even if I wish the vocals were harsher, and the chorus is rather weak. Which makes me notice! Shiina shys away from the screechy vocals entirely this album (for better or worse) and no “megaphone voice” (ie: Kabuki, Service, Foul.)

12. Kaze ni Ayakatte Yuke
: Great rocker that liberally borrows from “Gamble.” I’ll allow it. Easily the best guitar track on the album. The bridge before the guitar solo is really good and I think the reiteration of the lyrics is effective stuff. Izawa you maestro you.

13. Onna no ko wa Daredemo
: The showtune. It is so heartbreaking this is the only Shiina-only penned track. The worst part is the product placement of all things! You’re killing me Shiina! This is so out of left field I don’t even understand how this is an apt close to the album. Bummer.

14. Tengoku e Youkoso for the tube
: How I wish this was not a bonus track. It should be this album’s closer. Let’s all collude to say this is the true closer, please? The last makeover (re-makeover?) I love the even sparser instrumentation, giving way to the full band to evelope the air around Shiina’s voice. Great rendition and great cut off! What were you thinking Jihen? Onna no ko wa Daredemo as a closer, get that out of here!

When the album is over, I don’t know how to feel about what I just listened to. I certainly used the word “great” alot in my track-by-track (nine.) This is a much better album than Sports, and the band sounds better than ever. You know what, there’s even some good tracks here (and not just “good for phase 2”): Denki no Nai Toshi, Atarashii Bunmei-kaika, the new versions of Tengoku and Dopamint, as well Osorubeki Otona-tachi and Kaze ni Ayakatte Yuke. Somehow though, I don’t feel it all comes together, and ends up kind of nebulous. Maybe its the lack of effective album closer. There’s some ho-hum songs, maybe a few will grow, but I think most will wallow in a Sports-like mediocrity.

Maybe this is a nitpick, I think it’s great to see the band make some bold choices: the bass in Bunmei-kaika, the instrumentation in Tengoku e Youkoso (either), Dopamint, the choice of RnB. However there are times where they wimped out of some of their choices. Sora ga Natteiru flounders half way between dingy alt-rock and heartfelt ballad. Kinjirareta Asobi might be the song that, if stuck to the emotion drawn from the verse, could have tied the album together. But it’s like they thought it might be too inaccessible, so they threw in a poppy chorus. The band needed to make strong bold choices throughout the album, not just picking and choosing. And again, no proper closer. I get that Onna no ko is a bold choice, and did stick to, but it is wholly unearned (and as it is passable, fails to compare to Tsugou no Ii Karada.) What I’m getting at is that though this is a nice collection of songs, and there looks like there’s more good than bad (or blah,) as an album it is rather middling.


Izawa Ichiyo comes out of the album like roses with some great songwriting. Hata’s drumming is back up to Kyouiku level, even if he doesn’t get much room. Ukigumo’s songs are pretty bad, but he meshes a exponentially better than he hid in Variety. Kameda’s songs are predictable and predictably great, and his bass is much more supportive. Shiina’s singing is par for the course, only in Dopamint and Kaze ni does it reach anything exemplary, but this is likely a good thing. Sucks she wrote only the showtune explicitly. However, the band finally sounds like a band performing songs the best they can. They have taken a step forward from the solid songs of Sports and they are almost up to making a statement with their albums again (like they once did with Adult and Kyouiku.) Unfortunately, they didn’t quite finish their statement this time and it’s sort of left up to the listener to finish it. Maybe that’s the “discovery” part of the record.


6.5/10
__________________
"Jihad is the soul of EMF"--Lena

Last edited by Tokyo Jihad : 2011.06.28 at 05:07 PM.
Tokyo Jihad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2011.06.28, 05:11 PM   #42
teattum
Senior Member
 
teattum's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: france
Posts: 129
teattum has had more than 15 seconds of fame
Default

I'm talking about a first impression...

Kiyoku = Dai Hakken > sports = adult > variety
teattum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2011.06.28, 05:14 PM   #43
deadgrandma
Senior Member
 
deadgrandma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 4,791
deadgrandma knows what you did last summerdeadgrandma knows what you did last summer
Default

Wow, that's pretty cool.

Me, Adult> Sports=Variety=Daihakken > Kiyoku

Kiyoku I didn't listen to anywhere near as much as the other albums, thats the only reason why its bottom.
__________________
Disco! Life is dead
deadgrandma is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2011.06.28, 05:17 PM   #44
TurtleFu
Senior Member
 
TurtleFu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Honolulu
Posts: 1,606
TurtleFu deserves a fucking medal
Default

It seems like there are some things people universally are agreeing on (the lack of a proper album closer for one, the greatness of the Tengoku opener, etc.)

I also really enjoy reading your reviews/overviews of albums, such as in the favorite album thread, Jihad. You really are good at reviewing music.

I just want to check one thing, you mentioned that Onna no Ko is the only Shiina-penned track. From my understanding (which may be wrong), "penned" means "lyrics written", and my credits list Shiina as the lyricist for all of the songs except for Uki's. If by penned you mean "music and lyrics written", then I believe she did that for Tengoku. I'm not saying you're wrong, I just want to make sure my credits are right.
TurtleFu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2011.06.28, 05:26 PM   #45
Tokyo Jihad
Senior Member
 
Tokyo Jihad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: San Antonio! Hoody Hoo
Posts: 5,008
Tokyo Jihad knows what you did last summerTokyo Jihad knows what you did last summer
Send a message via AIM to Tokyo Jihad
Default

As far as I can tell, you are right! My mistake! She did write Tengoku e Youkosu as well.
__________________
"Jihad is the soul of EMF"--Lena
Tokyo Jihad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2011.06.28, 05:43 PM   #46
hoopra
Senior Member
 
hoopra's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 298
hoopra raises the standards of what a community can offer
Default

good review TJhad, only disagree with ur review of 6. Kinjirareta Asobi, i thought the set up at the beginning worked, im interested to see how they work this song live, Sora hits harder in this album context coming on after Katsute, although i liked it already by itself as a single before
hoopra is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2011.06.28, 08:15 PM   #47
Cinders
Senior Member
 
Cinders's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Florida
Posts: 138
Cinders is headed in the right direction
Default

It's weird how many differing views there are when it comes to TJ's music. I want to say that's a good thing. I don't know.

For me, it's

Kyouiku = Adult > Sports > Daihakken > Variety
Cinders is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2011.06.28, 08:25 PM   #48
lazer85
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 425
lazer85 puts considerable thought into their posts
Default

Ok woke up at noon and listened to the whole album this time. I think it'll be a while before I give an accurate opinion. As an album, like sports, there are a few things that destroy the flow. The last 2 tracks being some of the weakest being the main thing. I feel like there was a clear concept for this album (not "discovery", I mean like sonically) and they threw a bunch of already existing tracks into it and it really disrupted things, similar to the way Senkou Shoujo killed the flow of Sports despite being a good song. Also, a song with a similar style to previous work does not bother me at all but there are a lot of songs with a similar melody, AND style to previous songs. The most obvious and offensive being 21 seiki (toumei ningen) and Kinjirareta (Sounan and a bit of blackout), which is a shame because neither are bad songs but I feel like both would be more enjoyable without knowledge of the songs they resemble.

The most impressive thing on this album to me is the first track, simply because I thought the vocal melody itself was lacking and now I realize it was the arrangement.

The reason I connect so much with this woman (and bands) music, despite it being mainstream pop, is because she/they/the producer are better than almost anyone at using arrangement to bring out the best in vocal melody. Prior to Variety it was well over 90% but from Variety onward, I think about half the songs are lacking this magic. But now with the Tengoku for the Tube and Tengoku for the Disc, I can easily explain what is wrong with nu-Ringo. "for the Disc" is everything that is/was right with Ringo/Jihen, "For the tube" is everything wrong with recent releases. I don't even think "for the tube" is bad. It stands alone as a good song by a pop/rock band, and so did most of Variety. It just lacks that magic arrangement that bring out the best in the melody and qualifies anyone as a "favorite artist" and an inspiration. At some points in "for the tube" I think it might have this magic (some spots toward the end) but as a whole it is lacking something. This magic is what keeps me coming back despite all other complaints. It's what inspired me to pick up a guitar only recently despite the feeling that mid 20's might be too late to start. The magic still exists although it isn't as overwhelming as it once was but it has the potential to come out and grab me with every release, at least for a few songs.

I am waiting for the Sora ga naitteru used in the commercial. I have high hopes for that arrangement as well.

I guess I can listen and believe, "unwilling but yielding", that this bands best stuff may not be behind them.

Last edited by lazer85 : 2011.06.28 at 08:31 PM.
lazer85 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2011.06.28, 08:36 PM   #49
Tokyo Jihad
Senior Member
 
Tokyo Jihad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: San Antonio! Hoody Hoo
Posts: 5,008
Tokyo Jihad knows what you did last summerTokyo Jihad knows what you did last summer
Send a message via AIM to Tokyo Jihad
Default

Are we doing tiers? Aw hell yeah, i'll do it this way:
Great tier: Kyouiku, Adult
Good Tier: Sports, Dai Hakken
Meh Tier:
Shit Tier: Variety
__________________
"Jihad is the soul of EMF"--Lena
Tokyo Jihad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2011.06.28, 08:38 PM   #50
TurtleFu
Senior Member
 
TurtleFu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Honolulu
Posts: 1,606
TurtleFu deserves a fucking medal
Default

If Phase 2 is going to have a "sound" then continuing in the trend of Sports is not a bad thing. In fact, several of you seem to think that DH is better than Sports.

Still listening. I really like the new Dopamint arrangement.
TurtleFu is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
[Rekishi] 2011.03.16 - Rekitsu (CD) [Album] frecklegirl Product Reviews & Information 25 2015.05.29 10:24 PM
2011 Grammy Awards apple pie Off-Topic (Music) 9 2012.01.11 12:54 PM
New Jihen album: Dai Hakken [2011.06.29] clakaz Main Forum 856 2011.06.29 03:30 PM
[SR] 2007.02.21 - Dai Ikkai Ringohan Taikai no Moyou (DVD) [Concert Video] frecklegirl Product Reviews & Information 45 2011.06.12 06:27 AM
Summer 2011 YMO performances LA/Tokyo natsume Off-Topic (Music) 1 2011.03.08 06:30 PM


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:22 AM.