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With Symphonica, the Ruins decided to stretch out and try something new. Percussionist Yoshida Tatsuya and bassist Masuda Ryuichi added a keyboardist, two female vocalists, and a new, extended song structure. They treat measures of their rock music as symphonic material, repeating sections with variations on the original "theme." Unfortunately, the material here isn't interesting enough to warrant such repetition. The keyboardist goes effects-crazy, the operatic vocalist and rock vocalist take turns singing along, and sections that would make more interesting one minute songs are repeated over and over, with some heavy-handed panning. Uncharacteristically, the Ruins have created a (rather poor) prog rock album -- some parts of it are actually reminiscent of Todd Rundgren's Utopia (specifically, "Hiroshima," off of RA). This Ruins album is for collectors and die hard fans only.

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