November 23, 2010

Shugo Tokumaru - Port Entropy

Let me fill you in, because I doubt you've been informed of this genius. Shugo Tokumaru is a Japanese musician who's been writing quirky, very animated Japanese indie-pop songs since 2003. Last year, he made it to #1 on our Top 50 Albums of 2008 list, and with reason. 2008's Exit brought light-hearted, complex songs that were colorful and childish enough to put a smile on anyone's face. Oh, and they're all catchy as hell. To put is simply, it was a work of art. I think the best way to describe it is music accompanying a creative kindergartner's drawing for art class. I hope that made sense somehow.

Port Entropy had the same drive, but not much stands out compared to Exit. For example, Exit has the bright and quick guitar line on Parachute, the perfect mix of dissonant woodwinds and scattered drums on Clocca, and a bunch of other significant moments. But that's not to say Port Entropy just ends, leaving you with no memorable choruses or melodies going through your head. It opens really well with the resonant duo of Platform and Tracking Elevator, which both have the shine of previous Tokumaru songs, and though Rum Hee may not be as quirky as classic Shugo songs, it has one of the catchiest intros ever. The rest of the album is consistently good too. Even the last two songs, Orange and Malerina, are among my favorite Shugo Tokumaru songs now.

If you're not really into bright indie pop like this, I might be a bit hesitant, as some of this stuff is really sugary. But otherwise, I recommend.

Listen to the full album here.
Recommended: Tracking Elevator, Rum Hee, Laminate, Drive-Thru, Suisha, Orange, Malerina


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