Pizzicato Five

Soft Landing on the Moon

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If anything, Pizzicato Five's fourth album demonstrates that great things can come from disparate sources. Soft Landing on the Moon shows the band in transition, with a selection made up of radical reworkings of their past catalog, outtakes, covers, and some strong originals. This was Takao Tajima's last outing as vocalist, but such soul workouts as "Lip Service," "Yubikiri" (a Eiichi Ohtaki cover from the early 70s), and a hip-hop reworking of "Temptation Talk" from Bellissima! point toward his future work as leader of Original Love. Feeling the sampladelic heat from Stateside by such groups as De La Soul, Konishi and Takanami throw everything into the mix, beginning the kitsch recycling that would soon become their style, and from there, Shibuya-kei. Konishi revamps an old demo, "Sex Machine" (no relation to the James Brown song), into a Black Album-era Prince funk workout, and comes up with his own Martin Denny-esque exotica on "Aloha e Blues." The album does have a bit too much filler in the form of short group member "statements," but they are mercifully short. Re-released in 1995 with some tracks missing ("This Can't Be Love"), making the original very collectable.

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