Nobukazu Takemura


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Poised halfway between experimental rock and indie pop, Nobukazu Takemura treated Songbook as a songwriter album, inviting Japanese vocalists to help flesh out these guitar- and Casio-driven pop songs. A set of competing synth-brass lines make the opener, "Mahou No Hiroba," a special delight; elsewhere, Takemura appears to enjoy removing so many song elements that listeners are forced to envision what could be added to make a "proper" pop song out of the track. If it sounds unfinished, that's probably the way Takemura wanted it; a few songs sound as though some important elements have been taken out, so a good imagination is necessary to enjoy Songbook.

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