The Brilliant Green

Brilliant Green Complete Single Collection 1997-2008

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Bridging the gap between Japanese pop and Western pop surprisingly capably, the Brilliant Green have stood at the crossroads of cultural idioms for years, progressively adding elements from the Beatles on top of the rising and falling J-pop structure. Though J-pop as a whole has incorporated elements of Western music and diverged somewhat from the days of sheer idol-singing, where the Brilliant Green broke away from the pack is in their stronger adherence to Western aesthetics and craft. The music here has a vastly more crafted feel to it, it's a thing of work and art rather than a piece of manufactured goods (though not all Japanese pop has a manufactured sheen to it, it is a stereotypical element). There are influences of Tom Petty here, of the Stones, Sheryl Crow, and the Nashville scene. The Brilliant Green may be the Japanese equivalent to a band like Pearl Jam, putting together wide influences of classic forms and bands into something still new. Moreover, they do so in a solid manner, with arrangements leaving no obvious gaps or joints, with instruments being played just as they should be to fit the song rather than to display their newest trick, with lead singer Tomoko Kawase using her voice to fit the song as well, never quite forcing herself to the front except as the melody demands, but never falling behind the instruments, either. The compositions are absolutely solid, and always interesting while keeping within understandable structures. The band isn't overly exploratory and doesn't give in to the urge toward novelty for its own sake, instead moving toward more traditional rock. Here, all of their recorded singles over the years show not only their progression as artists, but their unique format. Absolutely worth listening to, for fans of Japanese and American pop and rock alike.

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