The City Boys

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The third in a series of releases from Trattoria celebrating the alternative Japanese comedy troupe City Boys (the first two being Life of City Boys and Building on a Strong Foundation), this third volume is a more varied affair with Yasuharu Konishi relinquishing control to a series of Japanese, British, and Italian artists. But for Pizzicato Five fans who do want to pick this up for Konishi's contributions, there's a cover of "Collision and Improvisation" by Italian Session, and the original version of "Fiorella With the Umbrella" that Maki Nomiya would later cover on her solo album, produced by Konishi. Elsewhere, Fantastic Plastic Machine offer "Don't Stop!" in a slightly different -- and very brief -- mix from their debut CD. Highlights also include a "'97 Remix" of the Rah Band's "Clouds Across the Moon," a hidden gem from the mid-'80s that needs reappraising; and some Beach Boyish soul from Louis Phillipe on "Little By Little." The CD's weakness is that it doesn't feel like a cohesive whole -- you can often forget what you're in fact listening to. Otherwise, pleasant for all concerned.

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