Ikimono Gakari

Ikimonobakari: Members Best Selection

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For their first greatest-hits album, Japanese pop trio Ikimono Gakari pulled out all the stops: 28 tracks culled from their previous four albums, as well as a bonus trio of new pieces for the fans. The tracks are presented essentially chronologically, starting with their early hit "Sakura," showcasing lead singer Yoshioka Kiyoe's lilting vocals. As the set progresses, more powerful and more dramatic vocal turns are taken, and the band briefly experiments with more straightforward rock. They move through more ballads, through happy-go-lucky singalongs, and through bouncing, almost ska-influenced pop. And they never really stop. Fans likely already have all of the older material given that it's a two-disc set covering only four original discs, but newcomers may like the shortened format as a strong introduction to a fairly important modern band.