*NEW* in J-Pop this week: Tokyo Jihen's Great Discovery!

Posted by Kells, November 14, 2011 12:00pm | Post a Comment
Thank heavens! J-pop superstar Shiina Ringo's slinky jazz-rock unit Tokyo Jihen (or Tokyo Incidents if you prefer your English full-on, 100%) are back with Dai-Hakken/Great Discovery -  their fifth television-themed record to date (i.e. Education, Adult, Variety, Sports, and now Discovery [Channel] television)!

I have to say, it's comforting to see a well-established artist who has grappled with fumbles and triumphs alike throughout their career still making the sort of music and displaying their particular taste for showmanship with grace and aplomb. Shiina Ringo is a little bit like Prince in my mind, even if it's purely for the fact that her successful side project, Tokyo Jihen, is not only peopled by her hand-selected collection of uber-talented, male musicians but also once released a record packaged with it's very own original cologne for men. I mean, the recent music video for Dai-Hakken b-side --「ハンサム過ぎて」("Too Handsome") wherein Ringo "directs" her band of fellows to put on their most comely date-night behavior -- kinda says it all. Ringo is a dom-ballerina and all the world, well all of Japan and many locals otherwise anyway, are her stage.

(Like you've never licked your TV screen) Pretty! But I digress, this post is about the new full-length record, not the new-new single. To my delight this record is a great deal more satisfying at first listen than the last two Incidents' incidents but I'm sure the end payoff will be the same in that it stands alone as a great album in as much as it further gilds the worth of the greater part of Ringo's works, with or without her Incidents. It's always been all about her, you know, as the video for 「女は誰でも」(or "Any Girl" -- Ringo's own twisted English translation of said title being "Fly Me to Heaven" which I feel is really more indicative of the flutterings and spasms "any girl" might feel playing dress-up in an extensively sequined vintage  wardrobe as Ringo does waltzing through this self-indulgent vignette of a musical interlude) suggests, check it out:

And that's why we love her, no? I really like that too legit hand-signal for the phrase "like a virgin" but it might be difficult to work into casual conversation. Then again, it might not. Incidently speaking (forgive me) my favorite track from Dai-Hakken is without a doubt "Les Adultes Terribles" - it's everything that is appealing about this band in general. It's got a stone-solid groove and a sensual quality that marries late night skate jams with the sort of prowling sound that you just know a super model longs to unwind with after a drug-addled, high-heeled youth spent working it endlessly on catwalk after glittering catwalk. Les Adultes Terribles indeed! Enjoy and remember Tokyo Incidents Dai-Hakken is available at Amoeba Music!

Tokyo Jihen - "Les Adultes Terribles" (「恐るべき大人達」)

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Shiina Ringo (3), Tokyo Jihen (1), J-pop (7), Jazz (150), Rock (26)