Chage & Aska

Very Best: Nothing But C & A

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Having spent the better part of three decades returning repeatedly to the Japanese charts, the megaduo Chage & Aska have plenty of compilation albums under their belts. As might be expected with their massive fan base, however (over 30 million albums sold in a relatively small market), each new compilation provides fans with more material to reminisce about and add to their collections. This album passes in the form of much modern Japanese music. From its beginnings playing fairly stereotypical melodramatic lounge-style music, the duo developed over the years into complex ballad composers, playing off the best elements of one another and their collective strengths. There are hints of Eurythmics in pieces like "Boku Wa Music." There are traces of gospel in pieces like "Rocket No Jyu No Shita De." And, of course, there are references from the Beatles in pieces like "Yah Yah Yah." Fans of the duo will already know all of the songs, but they still won't be disappointed. Newcomers may also do well with a compilation like this, which condenses a massive catalog to a single disc as an introduction.