Takako Minekawa

Chat Chat

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With her little-girl voice, a penchant for toy instruments, and a list of credits that thanks Raggedy Ann alongside Black Sabbath, Takako Minekawa shows all signs of a terminal case of the cutes on her debut recording, Chat Chat. That's not to say that cute can't be fun. Minekawa's cover versions -- including Eddie Cochran's "Summertime Blues," the Beatles' "Drive My Car," and songs by Victoria Williams and country crooner Tom T. Hall -- are always interesting. Meanwhile, her original compositions lean toward the wistful. While the arrangements here are decidedly more conventional (and guitar-oriented) than the albums that follow, 1995's Chat Chat provides the first encounter with a distinctive pop voice.

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