Les 5-4-3-2-1


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Yet again, Les 5-4-3-2-1 changed their sound into a more flower pop style with this, their last album. Possibly the inability of the group to find a particular sound caused Sally Kubota to abandon his project -- if so this album stands as a tantalizing suggestion of what might have been if he'd stuck with it. For the first time, Kubota's songwriting is strong throughout, with hooks and catchy choruses everywhere. The arrangements span a range of styles and indulge in a variety of instruments. Arimi Matsuno's vocals are double-tracked, sent into echo-boxes, distorted, and allowed to become an essential part of the music. "Two in Bed" is a spacy bossa nova with slide guitar, while "Wanderer" is a bold rocker, and "Fish Mask Replica" is hip-hop psychedelia. Strangely, with this album, Kubota comes a bit full circle: He finally covers "54321" and makes reference to the garage rock that he paid tribute to on the first EP. Ending with the pretty, Beatlesque ballad "Re-Born," it's a shame that this album was the last stop on the group's journey.