Is Spontania a J-Pop group or a J-rap outfit? It's never entirely clear on Music, their fourth album (though only their second as Spontania -- they previously went under the name Hi-Timez). There's plenty of pop to be had, and plenty of brief rap breaks scattered throughout that pop. The interesting feature, though, is the far-ranging inclusion of styles in the album. The title track is a mixed-language, upbeat, hip-hop romp, but the second track, "Fiesta," is a full-fledged Brazilian extravaganza, drumlines and berimbaus blazing. A bit of straightforward J-Urban balladry in "Kimi no Subete Ni" gives the boys of Spontania a chance for give and take with Juju's softer vocals. A little more of a reggae influence comes with "If" (which also features Def Tech's Micro, the owner of the label), but amps up quite a bit more with the following track, "Scenario." "Theme" uses a slicker urban groove that lets the boys use a softer, more patter-style cadence in their delivery, and "Up to U" does its best to display the energy and rapid-fire delivery of Outkast's "BOB," to a degree verging on theft. There's a bit of lackluster material on the way to the end, culminating in the simple dance track "Encore" and a remix of "Kimi no Subete Ni," their biggest single leading up to the album. Music is a little hit and miss, with moments of glory and moments of sheer mediocrity alike. Pick it up as a fan, but pass on by if just an interested party.
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