Pizzicato Five

Romantique 96

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If Overdose was Konishi's tribute to New York, or the New York of his mind, Romantique 96 is his version of France, a France of the '60s (of course), of Michel Legrand, Serge Gainsbourg, Jean-Luc Godard, and Last Year in Marienbad. The music on the album may detour from that path (the rap on "Icecream Meltin' Mellow" or the bizarre Plastics cover "Good,") but a majority of the tracks are some of the lushest orchestrations since Couples. Singer Maki Nomiya makes good as a chanteuse on "The Awakening," "Triste," and the trés romantique "Tokyo, Mon Amour." There's also a touch of melancholia in the lyrics and the melodies are more pronounced here than on other recent albums. The album's other notable track is "Flying High," which marks the major label debut of Fantastic Plastic Machine, who, according to Konishi, rented the track space out like one would rent a room in an apartment.

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