Kishi Bashi


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Jupiter One co-founder and frequent Of Montreal merrymaker K Ishibashi's second go-around under the Kishi Bashi moniker is as lavish and fanciful an affair as its flamboyant cover art would suggest, offering up a bountiful 14-track set of dense, multi-hued indie pop confections that lands somewhere between the clubby, blissed-out glow of "Sleepyhead"-era Passion Pit, the bedazzled Icelandic fairy realm of Jónsi, and the neon green fields of the Teletubbies. Ishibashi's violin steers the needle through a tapestry of classical-infused electro-pop that's as dense as it is effervescent; looping, pitch-shifting, arpeggiating, and swirling about like a fly drowning fitfully in a vat of simple syrup. Lighght requires a sweet tooth, but at least it lets you know what to expect early on, thanks to the criminally sugary, one-two punch of "Philosophize in It! Chemicalize with It!" and "The Ballad of Mr. Steak," the latter of which builds to an earworm of a chorus that declares "Mr. Steak, you are grade A." Ishibashi follows suit with the meaty "Carry on Phenomenon," a lyrically impenetrable, impossibly catchy blast of ELO worship that, like all of the songs on the tightly packed rainbow canon that is Lighght, skillfully applies a dizzying array of bells and whistles to what is essentially a simple, relatable, and reliable pop melody. Whether he's flirting with Incredible String Band aloofness ("Q&A"), getting sucked into a whirlpool of loopy, Island pizzicato ("One Upon a Lucid Dream [In Afrikaans]"), or just reveling in the sheer, ridiculous ornateness of the world he has created ("Song for the Sold"), he's doing so without the encumbrance of subterfuge. For Ishibashi, even the finery is from the heart.

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