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A delightful mix of '70s soul-pop and '90s sounds, Flags' debut album features five originals and five covers, with each of the quintet getting two songs each. The brainchild of Cosa Nostra's Tetsutaro Sakurai, this isn't far from the sound of his group, but here he covers all composing and arranging duties. The five singers don't work as a team, so each song rests on their individual voices. Coming out on top are Eriko, who belts out "Baby Now That I've Found You," originally by the Foundations, with ease. Her original "I Love to Walk" starts the album off with slinky funk. Harry (no surnames in this group) has the most interesting voice -- mature, slightly ghostly -- and it's used to best effect on the cover of Classics IV's "Spooky." Throughout, the playing and production are sharp and clever, and the resurrection of two lesser-known '70s numbers -- Fifth Avenue Band's "Eden Rock" and Michael Franks' "Monkey See, Monkey Do" -- make this an excellent debut.

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