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 2007.09.24, 09:55 AM   #21
Tsuchiya
Senior Member
 
Tsuchiya's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 154
Tsuchiya pleased at least somebody
Default

Originally Posted by madpawn View Post
Initial impressions:

LOVE
Ramp
OSCA
Kuronekodo
Bo Tomin
SSAW
Tsukigime Hime

LIKE
Kingyo no Hako
Shiseikatsu
Fukushu
Sake to Geko
Metro

MEH
Mirrorball

We'll see where this goes, but overall I'm VERY happy.
LOVE
Ramp
OSCA
Kuronekodo
Bo Tomin
SSAW
Tsukigime Hime
Kingyo no Hako
Shiseikatsu
Sake to Geko
Killer Tune
Metro

MEH (though I like how they got rid of the '60s psych feel)
Mirrorball

DISLIKE
Fukushu

Will report later with more in-depth thoughts.
Tsuchiya is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2007.09.24, 10:16 AM   #22
Tokyo Jihad
Senior Member
 
Tokyo Jihad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: San Antonio! Hoody Hoo
Posts: 5,004
Tokyo Jihad knows what you did last summerTokyo Jihad knows what you did last summer
Send a message via AIM to Tokyo Jihad
Default

Originally Posted by Tsuchiya View Post
DISLIKE
Fukushu
Surprise surprise
__________________
"Jihad is the soul of EMF"--Lena
Tokyo Jihad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2007.09.24, 10:43 AM   #23
Op2
Banned
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Ghanada
Posts: 284
Op2 is headed in the right direction
Send a message via Yahoo to Op2
Default

Izawa's vocals are awesome on Boutomin; I am really loving the vocal threesome there. Sake to Geko's piano is overly dramatic - it's such a gimmick - and I fall for it everytime. Kameda's track, Shiseikatsu, is so pretty, almost girl pop (Ai Otsuka-like) that only a 40 year old closeted gay man could produce. Tsukigime-hime will end up being a fan favorite, I think. Now, instead of shouting "TSUKIMAKE!" at concerts, the crowd might end up yelling "TSUKIHIME!"

There is so much to explore and dive into with this album. I couldn't congratulate Tokyo Jihen enough. Every track has something respectable about it, however, I have yet to find something in SSAW... We shall see.

Oh, and the last minute of Kronekodow + the ending segment is glorious.
It sounds like gypsy catching music. My new life goal is to sacrifice an animal to that track.
Op2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2007.09.24, 11:24 AM   #24
Tokyo Jihad
Senior Member
 
Tokyo Jihad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: San Antonio! Hoody Hoo
Posts: 5,004
Tokyo Jihad knows what you did last summerTokyo Jihad knows what you did last summer
Send a message via AIM to Tokyo Jihad
Default

So there are times when one is conflicted. There’s the fan, and there’s the critic; for me at least. The fan in me wants to bury the songs in the recycle bin and just forget there was a “third album” (just as I did with the Spice Girls back when.) Because the critic I me didn’t even find the prospect of a review of this album fun anymore, I was consigned to just remain mum. Howevva, I think there’s some interesting/strange thoughts I wasn’t expecting (apart from the “EVERYTHING IS LOOOVE” kinda stuff from the usual suspects.) So I dunno, maybe I should throw my thoughts out there anyway. Even if “shit-flipping” will ensue as usual.

Lets start with generalities: good choruses: they don’t exist here. A “horrible” album: it’s not – but as I say that, I have to address from the fan in me. This album, is not anything I want to listen to. If this were some other band, I would not have even given two thoughts about it’s existence. But because I thought greatness would ensue one upon a time, I feel obligated. I think this is a pseudo-intellectual wannabe pop album with no melodies per se or even “hooks” necessarily. It’s a shame Jihen seems to pretend they make more than “just fuckin’ music.” Shiina solo used to carry herself off like she was just making songs, and hopefully trying to make some good ones here and there. But now it’s like “oh, lets pretend we can raise IQs by music” or lets make pop classy! Or whatever – but of course, whats worse is when people actually buy into it. It should just be fuckin music, you cant go out actively trying to do anything intra-personal with it. If its good enough, it will have a mind of it’s own.

Now before I get into the music lemme continue to address the other sticking point of the album: Izawa and Uki wrote it. It was a stupid idea. There are some decent-good tracks here. Theres also some shit. Maybe they coulda taken the novel approach and only done the good ones, and maybe wait for some input from their front-woman with the proven track record. Just having more than one song each on the album would validate them as “song-writing members” – thrusting out a full album of their stuff is silly, and not a good idea (if “real” critics, or “real” fans, dislike it and and heat – who is going to feel it but the newbs?)

Anyway, applying the idea that I gave earlier that there are no good choruses here, lets sift through the album right quick. Mirrorball I think “works” – but I actually think sounded better in JCHI. This version sounds “shoe horned” to the new take, whereas it sounded more natural before. Kingyo and Ramp are largely inoffensive, tho not particularly noteworthy in the realm of pop. Shiseikatsu is Superstar watered down, as I said earlier. The bridge solo into the last chorus is a straight copy-paste from Superstar.

I love Fukushuu. Well, if it were on Kyoiku (or ZCS) it would have been love, here it seems like that one “hard rock” sounding song that Puffy puts on every other album (which, I still tend to like.) But it’s hard to take it so seriously. Whats great about Fukushuu: there’s no shoe-horned keyboard! It didn’t belong, and its not there. Big fucking ups to the band. It always bugged me how they always forced all 4 instruments in every song when they may not have always been applicable. Also, it somewhat goes back on my pseudo-intellectual rant earlier. This song sounds like it totally has no aim other than to just be a song, and that rawks. “Fukushuu is just so non-TJish...” – that’s a very welcome change. I also love the change in presence around 3:30, I think its really cool, sounds Radiohead-ish (Just or Electioneering? Cant think of the exact song.) I know it’s the “dumb rock song” and predictable that Jihad comes in to defend it. But what can I do? =P

Of course the “welcome” change doesn’t last because we plunge head first into two of the stupidest songs ever: Boutomin and SSAW (Kuronekodow is included in this league too.)
Howevva, Tsukigime-hime, despite my calling it “the most obvious Uki song” I think its actually kinda good. However I hate the stupid “kazoo backing vocals” here (as in Kingyo too I think it was.) But it’s a pretty decent song…even if Izawa tries to sabotage it with some Addam’s Family sounding keys. And afterwhich, the album isn’t very stand out. Someone should get jail time for Shiina’s singing in Killer Tune. I can’t possibly say it enough. Horrendous. Sake I think is too long and choppy, but it’s not a sin to like. Meh-tro?

Now I think I’m totally stuck. I’m sure I said some things above that are likely to get some hip-hopping perturbed. Its not music I choose to listen to, but a band I do/did. I dunno, imagine 50 cent releasing a country album or a folk album. It would be hard I think to review coming from his background. Now its not like theres not a discrepancy THAT big between DO/Adult and what we get in Variety, but its more “overt” pop and the “ideals” here are different than what they were in Kyoiku/Adult. Now, when I say “I wouldn’t choose to listen to” I almost specifically mean “this album.” Cuz I know pop music, however I don’t think theres any great pop songs here. Definitely some decent, maybe some good. But decent songs does not a good album make. Thems the breaks. I never intended to go to Shiina for pop songs, and this album enforces that – even if she didn’t write blah blah. It’s hard to judge this album without Dynamite Out’s “Superstar” gnawing at me, but I’m being as “well, pretend this is a totally different, unrelated band” as I can. I don’t think many of these songs are particularly strong, or necessarily above “middling.” Remembering you can trace this album back to Honnou and Tsumi to Batsu..only hurts more.

I give it a “Goraku” out of a “Innocence Moratorium”

3 top tracks: Fukushuu, Shiseikatsu, Pinnochio (lolz, ok. Tsukigime-hime)
/a-ccentuate the positive
5: the number of times I listened to Fukushuu while writing this review
__________________
"Jihad is the soul of EMF"--Lena

Last edited by Tokyo Jihad : 2007.09.24 at 11:37 AM.
Tokyo Jihad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2007.09.24, 12:01 PM   #25
madpawn
Senior Member
 
madpawn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Toronto
Posts: 158
madpawn pleased at least somebody
Default

What I like about the album are the shifts--not just the shifts in mood/genre between the songs, but within the songs. Uki's songs, in any case, veer off into some bizarre and mostly welcome directions with some regularity, and that regularity prevents it from feeling chaotic. Right?

In any case, this feature of the record reminds me of "Take Me Out" by Franz Ferdinand—that song is basically four or five perfectly good choruses of pop songs stitched together. Now, I don't like that song, but it works here--I don't have the same complaint that there are no choruses, but rather I see it that almost everything is a chorus. Maybe I'm just an optimist.

The shifts in Ringo's vocal style are what alarm me the most. I find sometimes the song is sometimes brought down a bit by her singing. What I love about her vocals are when they get ugly. That's what keeps me coming back. I love her raggedness in HF's Gamble, her growls in OSCA, anytime she gets shrill and weasely—it's delightful. Which is why I think Killer Tune is certainly her best vocal performance on the album. You know how a sadistic Ike Turner wrote songs for Tina that were consistently just above her comfortable vocal range? It's kind of like that. Ringo is straining to get those notes, squealing almost, and it's just painful enough to make what would just be a catchy, bit-too-pretty ballad-in-the-rain into something interesting—desperate, almost, and filled with tangible, piercing emotion. The uglier the better.

Which is why I dislike her performances on Mirrorball (rote and over-edited), Shiseikatsu (smoooth until the end when it's drowned in schmaltz anyway), Fukushu (I would actually prefer this song with another singer... never felt that way about SR/TJ before, but there you go). Tsukigime Hime--when it gets interesting, her voice is mixed DOWN and processed so you can't really hear her or ascertain her vocal timbre. WTF?

Listening to it again, her performance on Sake to Geto is brilliant. The shift to an almost dour Christmas mass song to a gothic rock-opera voice is done really, really, well. KU(roneko)DOS.

SSAW is something special because it's the first time I've really heard her effectively blend her voice into someone else's. It's not like in Kono Yo No Kagiri where Junpei's voice either drowns her out or doesn't exactly jive. Yes, she smooths her voice out in this song, but the two voices together are really nice and don't sound as if they would be better on their own, a common complaint I have with her duets.

More thoughts later, but as a singer I had to get this stuff out of the way first.
madpawn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2007.09.24, 12:23 PM   #26
cjhobbies00
Senior Member
 
cjhobbies00's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Toronto
Posts: 1,925
cjhobbies00 puts considerable thought into their posts
Send a message via MSN to cjhobbies00
Default

I don't really have time for a full review right now, but I'm on a whole pretty dissappointed with this album. There are some good ideas here, but Shiina's input would've completely salvaged this album.
Mirrorball is listenable on this album while I thought JCHI mirrorball was unbearable.
The group vocal works are actually the highlights of the album.

Summary- some decent B-sides on this album, but there is nothing here that I would consider "shiina" good. I'm just praying for a Shiina solo album right now.
I might not even break Variety out of its plastic wrapping when it arrives.
cjhobbies00 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2007.09.24, 12:31 PM   #27
fluffiethesock
Senior Member
 
fluffiethesock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 1,897
fluffiethesock puts considerable thought into their posts
Send a message via AIM to fluffiethesock
Default

I need to listen to the album a lot more before I say anything. At this point my general reaction is positive, though just about every song (besides OSCA) sounds like they could have done something to improve it. However, I wasn't a big fan of Adult when I heard it the first ten or so times, and it's now my favorite Ringo album. So we'll see.

Actually, I'll say this. Right now I'd rank it as my least favorite TJ album, though that's not saying it's bad.
fluffiethesock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2007.09.24, 12:37 PM   #28
cjhobbies00
Senior Member
 
cjhobbies00's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Toronto
Posts: 1,925
cjhobbies00 puts considerable thought into their posts
Send a message via MSN to cjhobbies00
Default

Originally Posted by fluffiethesock View Post
Right now I'd rank it as my least favorite TJ album
Ditto, almost no redeeming qualities, except for the possibility that Shiina was saving all her shit for a return to solo work.
cjhobbies00 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2007.09.24, 02:50 PM   #29
HEDOfloe
Senior Member
 
HEDOfloe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 2,716
HEDOfloe puts considerable thought into their posts
Default

Originally Posted by cjhobbies00 View Post
I don't really have time for a full review right now, but I'm on a whole pretty dissappointed with this album. There are some good ideas here, but Shiina's input would've completely salvaged this album.
I have not heard the album yet, but from hearing the previews I definitely agree with this. They sounded very interesting and I'm just assuming based on my own preconceptions and other's opinions that it would have been way better if she worked more on the songs. From everyone's descriptions of the songs, it seems like Uki and Izawa were trying to repeat some of what we saw in ADULT with less repeating choruses or just less emphasis on choruses. But, as cjhobbies said, Ringo would have made the album great. Now, from those who liked the album and my personal tastes, I think I will like this album a lot, but I'm pretty sure I won't like it as much as ADULT or Kyouiku. Also, a few people seemed to have confirmed my worst fear that OSCA and Killer Tune would be the best songs on the album. I loved both of those songs, but I will be slightly disappointed if I don't like anything on the album just as much or more than those two songs since I have already heard them so many times.

Originally Posted by madpawn View Post
The shifts in Ringo's vocal style are what alarm me the most. I find sometimes the song is sometimes brought down a bit by her singing. What I love about her vocals are when they get ugly. That's what keeps me coming back. I love her raggedness in HF's Gamble, her growls in OSCA, anytime she gets shrill and weasely—it's delightful. Which is why I think Killer Tune is certainly her best vocal performance on the album. You know how a sadistic Ike Turner wrote songs for Tina that were consistently just above her comfortable vocal range? It's kind of like that. Ringo is straining to get those notes, squealing almost, and it's just painful enough to make what would just be a catchy, bit-too-pretty ballad-in-the-rain into something interesting—desperate, almost, and filled with tangible, piercing emotion. The uglier the better.
That is what I loved about HF and OSCA too!! I think it also works perfectly in killer tune as well. I don't know why Jihad says they are horrendous because they are annoying to him. You could just say they are annoying to you.

EDIT:
Originally Posted by Tokyo Jihad View Post
I think this is a pseudo-intellectual wannabe pop album with no melodies per se or even “hooks” necessarily. It’s a shame Jihen seems to pretend they make more than “just fuckin’ music.” Shiina solo used to carry herself off like she was just making songs, and hopefully trying to make some good ones here and there. But now it’s like “oh, lets pretend we can raise IQs by music” or lets make pop classy! Or whatever – but of course, whats worse is when people actually buy into it. It should just be fuckin music, you cant go out actively trying to do anything intra-personal with it. If its good enough, it will have a mind of it’s own.
Do you feel the same way about Bjork? She makes some of the craziest music I've heard and it's rarely catchy and its not "just fuckin' music". I still think its great regardless.

Last edited by HEDOfloe : 2007.09.24 at 02:56 PM.
HEDOfloe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2007.09.24, 02:57 PM   #30
ShadyNook
Senior Member
 
ShadyNook's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 764
ShadyNook raises the standards of what a community can offer
Default

Ramp = Like
Mirrorballs = the JCHI version arrangement is better to me by comparison. This sounds like Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Kingyou = Great
Shiseikatsu = like. Kameda's style is easy to identify, isn't it?
OSCA = I like it
Kronekodow = like it. It sounds like Appa. Only Izawa writes this circus type of music.
Fukushuu = even though Uki wrote it, it sounds like something from Ringo's grunge days pre-Shouso Strip, but without a strong hook. I skip this track every time.
Boutomin = The riff is a ripoff, oh wait...a "tribute" from George Benson's "On Broadway." I like hearing the band singing together though. They should do this alot more in the future.
SSAW = Love it. I really want to see Izawa and Ringo do this one live.
Tsukigime Hime = Cool song. The verse melody and guitar is Kurt Cobain, the chorus melody and keys are The Doors. I like this one because of the weird contrast like in OSCA.
Sake to Geko = Its starts sober, then gets drunk, then sober, then drunk.
Killer Tune = good
Metro = This is the first TJ album to end with a chill-out song instead of a giant climax like Yume no Ato or Tegami. I guess this is where the credits for thier tv show starts rolling? This is the only other Uki song besides OSCA that I like.

Variety is a very good album full of goraku [LOL]. But now that Ringo did her big favor for the new guys, I want her songs to dominate the track list again. Pleeeeez! Out of the three albums the band has, I put this one at #3 with Adult at #1.

The album title is misleading. The variety of music here is no different from anything SR or TJ have done in the past. She/they have been doing variety from day one.
ShadyNook 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
[TJ] 2007.11.21 - Senkou Shoujo (DVD) [PV Collection] frecklegirl Product Reviews & Information 182 2011.09.18 06:29 AM
[TJ] 2007.07.11 - OSCA (CD) [Single] frecklegirl Product Reviews & Information 660 2009.07.04 06:43 PM
[TJ] 2007.08.22 - Killer Tune (CD) [Single] frecklegirl Product Reviews & Information 451 2008.05.07 02:58 AM


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:53 AM.