Ketsunopolis 6

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Ketsumeishi, regarded as one of the more eclectic contemporary bands in Japan, returned with their sixth release only months after their fifth. Nonetheless, the music came out fresh and new, touching on the domains of hip-hop, basic current pop trends, '80s synth pop, Brazilian sounds, and more. As with their previous releases, the whirl of styles is a feat in itself. Though the album opens in funk territory with a rapid-fire rap delivery over the top, it moves quickly to a midtempo ballad replete with some minor Spanish guitar ornamentation. "Carnival," midway through the album, is a Brazilian tour de force, with Busta Rhymes-style rap (high speed but enunciated), Jamaican-style toasting, and the pairing of pounding beats and samba whistles galore. "We Love Music," a successful single released prior to the album, is a jazzy, sunny, summer, Sunday afternoon affair. Whereas other groups simply perform their standard formats in front of different arrangements, the members here adapt their individual song and/or rap deliveries to fit the music, complying with the needs of the song at hand. The compositions themselves are relatively complex for the genre, incorporating tiny motifs and ideas from each of the members along the way. However, it's the sensitivity the group shows to the compositions that really breaks the mold. Ketsu No Police 6 may be a little better as an introduction for the curious listener, but this one is a fine addition for any fan.