Fujifabric

Teenager

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    7
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AllMusic Review by

Like many other established bands, especially Japanese ones, Fuji Fabric tend to stick close to one approach that worked well for them -- in this case, the Weezer-cum-vintage-pop sound that is actually a fresh change from the mainstream J-rock scene. Teenager is quite similar to the band's previous albums, though it's more lighthearted: the guitars still have a convincing power pop buzz, but song-wise Fuji Fabric prefer to explore the '60s pop, classic rock & roll, surf rock, and '70s feel-good soundtracks. These influences were always present in Fuji Fabric's music but have never been so prominent, while the speedy indie rock of their previous album Fab Fox is downplayed, though not absent (see "Hoshifuru Yoru ni Nattara"). The group also gets ever more professional -- not that they were amateurs to begin with, but the song arrangements have become even tighter, with saxophones, horn sections, old-time keys, handclaps, and rock & roll solos in all the right places. The guitar textures are rich and dexterous, and most songs go beyond the simple verse-chorus schemes, as can well be heard in "Chocolate Panic," which gradually builds up to a larger than life positive finale. This is not to say that Teenager is a perfect album: its guitars seem to wander all over the place in search of killer hooks, and even find them every now and then, but soon lose those and go on with the happy-hearted meandering. Still, when it all clicks together, like on "Kinen Shashin" or the chorus of "Surfer King," it's more than rewarding, and even the less memorable parts are not lackluster -- they are just, well, less memorable.

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