Yaida Hitomi


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This is one of those cases where the whole is less than the sum of its parts. With the release of Colorhythm, Yaida Hitomi is seven albums deep into her guitar pop complete with touches of light jazz in the vein of Tokyo Jihen -- but this time it sounds a lot like a forced attempt to repeat old songs in a new fashion without adding any new ingredients. Consequently, some of the songs sound jangly and uncomfortable -- and not in good Sonic Youth way -- and some just use hackneyed melodies and so have a hard time becoming attention-grabbers of any kind. When allowed some time to sink in, Colorhythm does begin to sound more distinct, and there's at least one song that redeems the whole enterprise quite a bit -- "Miracle Wiper" is a definite hit single with a drum hook and some pop-punk texture that makes it the best pop/rock song this side of Avril Lavigne. However, even this track suffers from an additional drawback -- the misplaced production and enthusiasm of Hitomi's singing turn her nice childish voice into something too loud and, in places, just grating. To be sure, these are just minute differences, and the general sound of Colorhythm doesn't really deviate from Hitomi's previous albums, but all in all, this record is too inconsistent, though not without merit.

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