Shikao Suga


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Shikao Suga, one of the leading artists in the deep roster of Office Augusta, has taken a different tack than many of the other revolutionaries in Japanese pop. While others are busily infusing elements of rock, singer/songwriter pathos, and hip-hop into their music, Suga went straight for the vein of musical excitement and infused his music with a thick core of funk. And indeed, Suga can get funky here. The bass is relentless on Funkaholic, bubbling and moving the sound around. Guitars simply riff over the top, never taking the spotlight but keeping the mood fresh. And Suga simply sings in the front, from falsetto to more authentic vocals as the song requires. There are a few lackluster moments as Suga puts forth a ballad or two, but the sound quickly turns back to something funkier. The influences here are many, from standard disco ("Kono Yube Tomare") to Prince (the title track), to bits and pieces of industrial and electronica ("13Kai no Elevator"). More importantly, aside from the standardized ballads, there's hardly a dull moment in the set. An excellent entry from an angle not common to Japanese pop.

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