T.M. Revolution

Coordinate

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    9
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For T.M. Revolution's first American release, the one-man band (whose real name is Takanori Nishikawa) offers up a palpable and danceable mix with Coordinate. J-pop and J-rock tend to be more adventurous than their American counterparts when it comes to experimenting with instrumentation in the studio, and by these standards, Coordinate is quite tame -- though audiences who have only sampled Western stylings may find it to be more unconventional. The album kicks off with "ABORT//CLEAR," a fast, jangling, guitar-heavy song that showcases Takanori's voice remarkably well. His masculine vocals are, in fact, what ground each track. The music on Coordinate is unique in comparison to the larger world of dance-pop, very much because of Takanori's steady, throaty vibrato, accented with brief moments of crooning that never stay long enough to get sappy. Many songs on the disc rely heavily on a driving, techno-happy rhythm, though with a more treble-oriented take on the device than the Detroit-based tradition of electronica. Despite an adherence to many American rock sensibilities, Takanori's songs have a light, unserious, and more optimistic feel; this guy isn't afraid to accent the beat with chimes. The fun-loving attitude lends itself so well to spacy images and action sequences that two of the songs on Coordinate, "INVOKE" and "Meteor," were used in conjunction with the anime series Gundam SEED. As a whole, no one track on the disc stands out as unquestionably excellent; however, each and every song is solid -- a rarity in nearly all music, to be sure.

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