Do as Infinity

New World

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There's nothing unexpected on New World whatsoever -- it's a typical J-pop/J-rock album -- but it's smaller, less showy features make it a nice entry in a crowded field. The most remarkable (though not defining) thing about Do as Infinity is their ability to overlap guitar pop with dancey rhythms: the guitars dominate, but the trick, while not new, is still interesting. This gimmick was ridden by the likes of Klaxons and Bravery and touted as the next big thing in Western popular music; meanwhile, on those small islands on the rim of the Pacific, Do as Infinity were doing a similar thing without much fuss about them, and a few years ahead of the others to boot (New World was initially released in 2001). Perhaps the difference is that for DAI, this wasn't a conscious stylistic experiment, but simply a means to achieve a good pop song, and they would as easily use other tricks they came by -- there's a lot of plain melodic rock on New World, one light jazz number (something of a mandatory exercise for Japanese bands), and plenty of strings, up to the predictable orchestra-only closer "Yesterday Today." All this doesn't really make New World a diverse album. Do as Infinity also contributed many tunes for anime series, and all of their music sounds TV-ready. But that's hardly a bad thing. The songs aren't too catchy, with the emphasis placed on melodies and textures, rather than hooks -- another typical trait of commercial J-pop/rock -- but that means the songs are good at creating a mood (usually something equally romantic and exciting) and have a bit more depth to them than a typical radio-tailored hits, thanks to those textures. Sometimes New World sounds a bit calculated, but never dull.

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