Judy and Mary

Miracle Diving

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Judy & Mary's third full-length album Miracle Diving continues the steady progression from the naive sounding punk-pop of their previous two albums toward the more polished pop/rock that would characterize their later sound. Opening with the near-title track "Miracle Night Diving," the band are clearly in familiar territory with Yuki's vocals squeaking out their usual feisty, coquettish melodies and half-spoken utterances. The development of Judy & Mary's sound is nevertheless evident in Takuya's more ambitious guitar work. The singles "Over Drive" and "Doki Doki" are classic Judy & Mary singles, with strong central melodies and a solid rhythm section that allows Takuya's guitar the freedom to make the occasional diversion or indulge in the odd solo. More significant, however, is the third track, "Kyoto." A mid-paced ballad, it quickly became one of the band's best-loved songs and represents an important step forward for the band with its more complex melody and richer-sounding arrangement. As with all Judy & Mary albums, Miracle Diving is a solid, consistent record, and a notable step in the band's career, acting as a bridge between 1994's Orange Sunshine and their multi-million-selling 1997 megahit The Power Source. Sadly, in moving away from the punk tinged sound of their earlier albums, it also loses some of the energy and charm.

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