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Old 2007.09.25, 07:47 AM   #51
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I've realized that maybe the only reason I like Bo Tomin is because it sounds like something off a Katamari Damacy soundtrack. Is that a good thing? Hrm.

In any case, this album is very good, though not as good as I expected with OSCA and Killer Tune which I adore (particularly the former). Hm. A lot of the songs just aren't that strong, for whatever reason. I tend to love the choruses, and the verses, but not together.

This album is like a fashion show where all the models are wearing dresses over pants.
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Old 2007.09.25, 09:39 AM   #52
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She's keeping the gold to herself. I know she has a bunch of new songs that she's keeping tucked away. To include just a few of those songs for a next TJ album would mean there would be alot of songs we wouldn't get to hear, so maybe Ringo really is prepping for a true solo album this time so she doesn't end up with another remix/self cover album like HF?

Now we wait another year for another album. won't that be fun.
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Old 2007.09.25, 09:44 AM   #53
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just to let everyone know,

I got my copy of Variety this morning. At the moment I'm in Boston so I was really pleasantly surprised. Although the shipment notice from cdjapan was e-mailed this morning, they mailed their copies out starting on early sunday morning it seems so it took about 3 days in the mail to get here for the release day (its technically still release day in Japan, about two or three days earlier than cdjapan normally arrives)

I LOVE CDJAPAN

edit: HOLY CRAP THAT NOTICE IS FROM MONDAY, they tried to deliver it *YESTERDAY*

anyone who ordered from cdjapan, keep your eyes peeled, XD

Last edited by kuro_neko : 2007.09.25 at 09:50 AM.
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Old 2007.09.25, 11:21 AM   #54
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okay, so here is my impressions of the packaging, fresh from opening:

in the picture everyone has seen the actual shot of the cover and back end are a slip over that fits over the cd casing. this is a really nice touch because when you slip it off you are assaulted by a cover or pure hot pink and black checkboard, continuing to the spine and inside both the back of the booklet, the cd, and the back of the back cover the same, meaning complete and total pink and black (I really like this)

the booklet is rather nice, the photography is really cool although I suspect some of you would rather put up with pretty pictures of ringo than what your going to get, which is a continuation of the pictures we have seen, like someone is snapping shots of a tv playing a variety program on which the band is quest. There is an opening shot or blurry ringo, a shot of Ringo holding up a sign reading "Sheena", one of kameda holding up "soumusume" (dreaming daughter), then one at the end of izawa holding up a sign and making a hilarious face while ringo is running off screen (his sign reads heian-peace). The opening shot is the one we have all seen of them watching TV.

the actual lyrics are presented with color icons same style as in the singles, some of which are quite elaborate and really nice.

and to put the RAMP issue to rest that song has a highway sign for its icon starting a theme of getting on a Tokyo Jihen roadway of some sort (ending at the back booklet)

anyways, its rather pretty packaging and in this case the limited features will probably just be reduced to the slipcase being printed on the cover and back with no zig zag spine (meaning if you like the pink and black, that is pretty much what your getting with limited)

music impressions to follow

edit: Gracenote read mine as either Goraku (in kanji) or "An amusement" in english, so I'm guessing there is an official english track list prepared out there, although it isn't included in the packaging like with Adult. If anyone opts for the English, be sure to let us know!
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Old 2007.09.25, 11:47 AM   #55
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I've developed a different take on the new album. instead of burning it when it arrives, i'll keep a place for it next to all my other Shiina cds. Variety just made me realize how consistently good all of shiina's output is. HF in comparison seems flawless, I mean how many songs in HF would you actually skip over once you start it? I will, however, delete most of the Variety tracks from my iPod (only shiina song i've deleted b4 was sigma...)
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Old 2007.09.25, 12:39 PM   #56
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okay, time for my impressions, everyone else had their turn and to my knowledge I'm the first one to post with an actual listen from the real cd, so as far as I'm concerned none of the previous opinions mattered, XDXD, since you STOLE THEIR MUSIC AND ARE THUS NOT THEIR FANS

okay, seriously though, let me say that the real joy in this album comes from the lyrics. Ringo, relegated to lyrics, really spent a lot of time on this album and the songs she wrote really do shine through. A lot of the emotional impact is in the lyrics and if you can't understand them, that obviously takes away. I'm not claiming to be fluent in Japanese by any means, so the fact that they still reached me through the language barrier says something. Shiseikatsu almost made me cry, the lyrics to that song are so beautiful. Kingyo no Hako is so badass, just the visual imagery it instills is so classic Ringo I can't help but laugh when you guys come here posting reviews about how crappy this music is and how you want another solo Ringo album...well, here your getting it, it is in the lyrics, so I guess that means you guys got to wait a bit until translations get posted by frecklegirl. (on a side note, knh was actually izawa, but that doesn't matter, its still badass and I understand why it got chosen for a really creepy movie, XD)

anyways, on to the album. I've only had one listen through, just finished.

ramp- have heard this a few times thanks to the blog. It is a nice little song, don't feel one way or another about it quite yet but it works very well as the opener to the album and I think in time it will grow on me.

mirrorball- well, minus the vocal work, here is what we have, this is pretty much the version I heard at Countdown Japan, with the elevated chorus. I'm not sure how I feel about this song, I was never initially drawn to it to begin with, but I think the reworked version certainly shows it off more than the JCHI and I wonder who is responsible for that.

kingyo no hako-okay, this song, seriously, lets talk about how awesome these lyrics off. fresh off of sakuran with all that goldfish imagery, here we have the antithesis of that. They were written by Izawa but are so classically old Ringo it isn't funny. They seriously could fit on Shouso Strip with the themes of her disgust for those dependent and insipid goldfish. It even ends with death, dun dun dun.

shiseikatsu- I heard Superstar comparisons and while I understand why Jihad and others would say that in the sense that they have similar sonic landscapes (no one argues that Tsumi to Batsu and Shuukyou have the same chord progressions EVER, in fact, they still are BOTH considered by many some of her best work, despite being pretty much the same song) but that is about it. The lyrics are completely different and this one almost brought tears to my eyes. The last line was particularly moving.

I'm going to skip OSCA and Killer Tune since they are old news by now

kuronekodou- this song is seriously badass and I don't get why anyone couldn't like it. just fun and out there, reminds me of Gogol Bordello

fukushuu- finally jihen actually does some more traditional straight up alt rock. some people have said that variety doesn't actually have as much variety as previous albums and the fact that you have a power ballad, a romanian gypsy dance song on crack, THIS, and then a kind of dirty ballad makes those statements kinda invalid if you ask me.

boutomin-this song has something dirty about that I can't put my finger on. The lyrics are a bit....not quite sure yet, but with the two guys and ringo on their its a bit like a threesome going on and while it sonically remains probably the least interesting on the album upon first listen, because I personally love any ocassion to think about izawa undressed there is an appeal there for me, XD

SS/AW- this song elicited another almost sob moment because it is a straight foward kind of romantic song about a guy and girl going through the 4 seasons and ending with a kind of will we be able to meet again? moment, very very cute

tsukigime-hime-lyrically this song was way too complex for me to piece together while listening to, but sonically it was very impressive.

sake to geko- this is an amazing song because in japanese traditional music sake plays a large role and I can think of many songs by traditional musicians who sing songs about drinking and start to act more and more drunk as they progress, such as Sayuri Ichikawa. Izawa taking this genre and updating it to modern tipsy rock is pretty damn cool if you ask me

metro- cute but the lyrics kind of make me want to throw up, no wonder why ringo said it kind of makes her sick when she thinks about it. it literally is just about a guy and a girl on a date and the guy thinking about the girl etc.

final impression:

more expansive than either kyouiku or adult, I think the tracks are over the place, which is what I personally like in my music. for most people that means a hate/love relationship. I personally liked OSCA and Killer Tune so I knew that was a good sign to begin with. I really think there is some great stuff on this album and rather frankly the reaction it is getting here doesn't surprise me in the least. I know a lot of people are going to either ignore me or argue with me, but that is just my opinion.

Last edited by kuro_neko : 2007.09.25 at 12:50 PM.
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Old 2007.09.25, 02:09 PM   #57
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Like the previous Tokyo Jihen albums, here are Shiina's obscure English track "titles".

01 - Ramp
02 - Mirror-ball
03 - Box of goldfish
04 - Backstage
05 - O.S.C.A.
06 - My way
07 - Vengeance
08 - The citizens
09 - ss/aw
10 - Princesse mensuelle
11 - Sake & nondrinker
12 - Killer-tune
13 - Metro
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Old 2007.09.25, 02:38 PM   #58
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SPRING SUMMER AUTUMN WINTER

SSAW!
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Old 2007.09.25, 02:51 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by BanFan View Post
It wasn't as amazing as I was hoping, but it's still really good anyway. I liked it a lot more than their last two albums (Yeah, I prefer Phase 2, shoot me). Besides the singles, I really liked "RAMP", "Kuronekodou" and "Sake to Geko". Seems like a lot of people aren't liking the non-SR compositions, but I actually like the composition on these more than those found on their first two albums. I actually prefer the band stuff over Shiina Ringo's solo stuff, which I think is overrated as being godly or something.

There were three things I didn't like about the album. First of all, I hate "MIRRORBALL", both the live version and this one. Gross. Secondly, as fun as they are, I didn't like the overuse of the Dobutsu no Mori (Animal Crossing)-esque keyboards. And lastly, having the fast ending for "Kuronekodou" right after "OSCA" seemed like a cheap trick to use. But overall, I was pleased with it.
WOAHHH! hold on now, if I interpreted correctly, you are saying that Variety is the best thing that shiina has ever produced...

Now I usually respect others opinions of music, but GODDAMN!
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Old 2007.09.25, 02:54 PM   #60
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