Asian Kung-Fu Generation

Mada Minu Ashita Ni

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Mada Minu Ashita Ni was released hot on the heels of the LP World World World, and the two stem from the same recording sessions. However, while World World World wore thin after a few listens, and its much needed novelty elements were relegated to a couple of interludes, Mada Minu Ashita Ni shows exactly what the LP lacked -- a variety in songwriting. Not too much of that, of course -- the core punk/indie/emo punch of Asian Kung-Fu Generation is intact, and sounds as intelligent as ever -- but the band needed to expand, not reinvent themselves. And that's exactly what they do on "Mustang," which may be played at the same speed as any other AKFG song, but carries a different mood, or rather, a variety of moods, going from wistful to hopeful and back. The same is true, to a lesser extent, of "Shinkokyuu," with its Chris Rea-like beginning (entirely appropriate here) and the ending that gently dissolves into a jazzy scat. The rest of the tracks aren't anything new by the standards of the band, and don't show much song development, which is probably why they weren't included on the full album, but they still sound inspired, and that, combined with the more emotionally adventurous tracks, makes Mada Minu Ashita Ni the most well-developed and well-balanced release by Asian Kung-Fu Generation at this point of their career.

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