Corina Corrina - Corina² Tour '82

so, this absolutely perfect live album by Corina Corrina was one of the last albums that the vault master posted before his blog was obliterated. so, none of the credit for this goes to me, duh. basically, i'm re-uploading this because i fear very few had the chance to download this beautiful album before it was too late.

every song on this album is a beautiful, tragic, and super adorable piece of piano driven pop. the tracks here are perfectly crafted, and each one displays intense levels of depth. and even though the vocalist has a very sweet, girlish voice (moe-like, even) she still manages to evoke great sadness.
to some extent this album/band even reminds me of After Dinner. the atmospheres that are invoked are very similar to the atmospheres that were invoked by haco and the gang on their albums.

might as well do a track-by-track review of this, considering each song really is very distinct and very, very good.

the opening piece, "Oasis", is a song that suggests taking off on some journey. the piano starts off sweet and sugary, but then when she begins to sing they take on more of a funeral march style, and the vocals build and build as they approach the chorus, which breaks and then quickly is cut back down again when the beautiful second verse begins.

track two is called "Story Of Blood". so . . . i have no idea what the lyrics are about, but they don't seem to be about any violence. instead, they seem to be longing for a lost time, or a lost love, or perhaps . . . impossible to say. but it's my favorite track on the album. as this track reaches its chorus it absolutely blows me away with how flawless the composition is. it sends shivers up and down my spine.

third track, "Soft Shoes", brightens my mood every time i listen to it. the moe voice is really put on hard here, and yet it still shakes with emotion. real, raw, believable emotion. this might actually be my favorite, because she also does a really great togawa-esque psuedo-operatic voice here. and it's. fucking. great.

fourth track! "Victory Of The Death" is another song that does not seem to be about a dark subject. certainly not the "victory of death". this almost reminds me of the title tracks from 葛生千夏's The City In The Sea; it's almost aquatic sounding, like waves brushing against a boat in the middle of a lake. it's gorgeous and dreamy and just great.

the final track begins where the fourth track leaves off (i suspect that if this is indeed a live album as the title seems to suggest, this was all recorded from the same night and let me just say i would have KILLED to see this show . . . run on sentence, like i fucking currrr). this track is actually quite a bit darker, but perhaps not bleak sounding. just . . . there's a tone of anger under the moe voice and gorgeous piano banging. so, this track's title ("All Dreams and Many Loves in a Basket") is also completely misleading. is she fucking with us at this point? this is just more of a reason for me to go learn japanese.
as the track begins to build up her voice begins to break and it cracks and she pants and nearly shouts as the piano gets faster and faster, each layer building and building so we have this wondrously furious, yet completely restrained finale that actually is probably my favorite track. actually, you know what? fuck it; all the tracks are my favorite. i can't even choose, it would be like choosing between my children (because i totally have children, right?).

1. Oasis
2. Story Of Blood
3. Soft Shoes
4. Victory Of The Death
5. All Dreams and Many Loves in a Basket



羅宇屋 - 桔梗

so, this is an album by the wonderful 羅宇屋. they play folk music with slight post-punk influences thrown in (as well super perfect pop elements on a few songs). the songs here use electric guitars, synths, and full drum sets with the traditional instruments (like the ever so subtle accordions) but it sounds perfectly natural. it's not like they're taking a "modern approach" to japanese folk music, but instead are simply playing folk music with modern instruments thrown in with traditional ones.

the songs all sound so exquisite, and each one is a stand-out track, so it's very hard for me to really pin-point a best song. but, i suppose if i was forced, i would pick the luscious new wave song, かように. it sounds like something out of a Studio Ghibli film (so, i guess i'm saying it sounds like it could have been composed by 久石譲). (another song i might pick out as a favorite would be the finale, which is a disco/funk song with traditional japanese folk chanting over the top of it. it's completely bizarre but works so, so well.)

anyways, you should certainly listen to this if only because there's nothing else out there that really sounds like these guys. you'll be doing yourself a disservice by not giving them a listen.

1. 人肌
2. 夏蝶
3. 百人浜
4. 明鏡止水
5. かように
6. かごめかごめ変奏曲




so, here's スーザン's album DO YOU BELIEVE IN MAZIC. but it may as well be a Yellow Magic Orchestra album, as the backing tracks for スーザン's sporadic shouts and girlish singing are primarily supplied by the three members of YMO. of course, it doesn't sound exactly like a YMO album; on this album they were going more for a 1960s american female pop singer sound (like Lesley Gore, Little Peggy March, or The Shangri-Las, annnnd she even does a cover of The Loving Spoonful's "Do You Believe In Magic?").

anyways, the tunes here are totally weird and uncommonly catchy. the stand-out tracks would have to be the gorgeous "FREEZIN' FISH UNDER THE MOONLIGHT (Eatin' my backbone)" (with it's post-punk bass and faux-flute), the opening track "MODERN FLOWERS IN A BOOT" (due to the fact that it's one of the catchiest fucking songs that i have ever heard, and it's totally freaky, too), and the spooky finale ("SCREAMER"). really though, every track is superb due to the flawless production on the part of the YMO boys. there's a reason why they are the gods of synth pop, and that's because they never fail to delight (whether they're working together, doing solo work, or producing for other artists).

1. Modern Flowers In A Boot
2. 24,000回のキッス
3. Dream Of You
4. Do You Believe In Magic?
5. Ah! Soka
6. Freezin' Fish Under The Moonlight (Eatin' My Backbone)
7. Glass Girl
8. It's No Time For You To Cry
9. Screamer



藤真利子 - 狂躁曲

this album by the actress 藤真利子 is incredibly fucking cool. it's not terribly weird or experimental (as the album cover would seem to suggest), but it's very . . . dunno, i guess it's similar to something like 原みゆき's ; it's weird and refreshing, but only upon a second or third listen do you realize this. for example, early on in the album the fact that she uses more traditional post-enka singing style seems to make it seem more normal. though, once you go back through you start to really notice all the completely strange production techniques going on here, and the wide array of different instruments that are being put to use.

i guess my favorite part about this album is the excellent production. it's constantly refreshing, and some of the tracks take a couple listens to really understand how complex they are. it sounds like walking through a jungle, and hearing snakes hiss and parrots caw in the distance while a butterfly with spotted wings perches on your hand.

anyways, i've been really enjoying this a lot lately, so grab it. i'm sure you'll enjoy it.

1. 薔薇
2. 花がたみ
3. 花まみれのおまえに
4. 真利子うらみうた
5. 野ざらし百鬼行
6. 折鶴秘唱
7. 雪
8. それがどうしたの
9. どんな春が
10. メルヘン
11. 鬼狂言
12. 危険な眠り
13. 裸足の伯爵夫人
14. Gemini VS Capricorn
15. 雪だより
16. シーズンオフの心には