Breaking away from the strictly pop sensibilities of J-pop at large, Hiroshi Tamaki's Bridge gives the singer some room to stretch out his compositional legs and try a little bit of music that he might not do in a standard capacity. While previous albums have showcased his vocal abilities (and a popular TV show gave him a slight touch of classical know-how), here he makes a tiny touch on singer/songwriter formats and a bit of blues-inflected melody, but firmly in the realm of J-pop. Though less upbeat and peppy than much of the contemporary material available (Sukimaswitch, Hata Motohiro, etc.), on Bridge Tamaki is encamped thoroughly in the adult contemporary format -- twinkling piano accompaniments and singsong melodies. The performances are all entirely capable and on their own fairly enjoyable, but they never develop into more than a basic, supermarket-friendly bit of fluffy aural goodness. Highlights are fairly few only because all of the songs blend into one another remarkably well -- nothing quite stands out as a result. An entirely enjoyable album; not breaking any new ground, not reaching to the limits of where contemporary J-pop can go, but entirely enjoyable.
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