A Journey

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The second album from this Japanese group takes a surrealist slant on rock. Like other '90s Tokyo groups Ghost, Fushitsusha, and Overhang Party, they take tips from American and British psychedelic rock of the '60s and '70s. While their peers take the inspiration and explode it into avant-garde territory, Che-Shizu stay within the formula while consistently inventing within it on this album. Lead by the striking vocals of Chie Mukai, A Journey is a sophisticated and refined album that touches base on the finer aspects of post-psychedelic rock -- Tim Buckley's romantic evocations are hinted at on more than one occasion in the flowing ethereal vocals -- and delicate, complex arrangements of guitars, piano, and drums make this an exceptionally well realized album.