Pizzicato Five

Pizzicato Five [TM]

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The last Pizzicato Five release of the decade, this 12-track CD is tainted with a little melancholic fin de si├Ęcle, especially in tracks such as "20th Century Girl" and "Goodbye Baby and Amen," the latter a duet with once-Pizzicato Five lead vocalist Takao Tajima. But other than that, this is typical late-period Yasuharu Konishi, a breathless collage of distorted organ, speed lounge, dense rhythmic pile-ups, even Faust-like metal ("Loudland!"). Only "Wild Strawberries," with its riff stolen from Francoise Hardy, is reminiscent of their sound at the start of the '90s. Nods to the past: Konishi indulges his own fan-boy wishes by working with '60s Japanese idol singer Mieko Hirota, letting her sing "Perfect World" in a Spencer Davis Group-type arrangement; Konishi polishes off a song from 1987's Couples, "Serial Stories," for Nomiya Maki. An improvement over their previous album.

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