Juju

Request

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On Request, Japanese songstress Juju sets out to cover a number of classic Japanese pop works, all chosen by her fans. The album varies a bit in its original material -- all the songs tend to be from well-known female singers (or bands fronted by well-known female singers), but hark from more rock-oriented, ballad-laden, or urban R&B territory. With Juju's arrangements, they all become relatively standardized numbers. They showcase the simple prettiness of Juju's vocals, but tend to lose their original intent. Arrangements tend toward more major chords and more keyboards and string sections than beat-heavy pieces here, further carrying Juju's tender vocals into their desired placement. She has a very nice voice, and the simple arrangements succeed both in showcasing her straightforward vocals and in providing a counterpoint to the often more complex original arrangements and their original singers. An interesting album, if not absolutely necessary.