Various Artists


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Think of Mobauta as a Japanese version of the massively selling Now! discs in the U.S. and Canada. A series of seemingly unrelated songs are thrown together here, each one a hugely popular track on its own. The biggest stars of the Oricon charts are all here, each contributing the biggest track from their most recent album. The album opens with GReeeeN, the happy power poppers from dental school, and their related song "Ai no Uta" (which translates to "Love Song," a related compilation from the same label). Thelma Aoyama's collaboration with the soft rapper SoulJa is presented with both of their individual guest tracks. Kobukuro's ultimate summer song "Life" is played through, easily the high point of the set. The softer balladry of Spontania meets up with the hyperactive dance of Mihimaru GT, which meets with the stop-and-go light rapping of R.S.P. and the punk ska of Giroppon. Over and over, new songs are presented straight from Japan's analog of the Top 40, and with no relation to the preceding or following tracks. The songs are individually varied in quality, from interesting takes on modern dance aesthetics to played-out standards of modern R&B. However, the mix leaves plenty to be desired.