Tak Matsumoto

Hana

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AllMusic Review by

The prominence won by Matsumoto as lead guitarist with B'Z earns him an all-instrumental solo showcase on Hana. His influences are apparent; "Little Wing" is essentially an offering placed at the altar of Jimi Hendrix, complete with lo-fi, Mitch Mitchell-like snare timbre, and a somewhat watery wah-wah. On most other tracks, though, Matsumoto's plangent melodies, written and improvised, are as ambient as restaurant music, with a pentatonic tendency that has little to do with blues. This is especially apparent on his cover of "Romeo & Juliet," whose ponderous spoken intro, dripping sentimentality, and incongruous collisions of skipping 6/8 figures and squalling rock clich├ęs could only have derived from a Japanese pop sensibility. Clearly, Matsumoto can shred; more often, he puts his music together carefully, which explains why, like arranged flowers, Hana is beautiful, balanced, and ultimately static.

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