Thursday, April 7, 2011
Yutaka - Another Sun (1993)
Don't let the creepy and badly designed cover art turn you off this little gem fellas and fellettes: this Japanese jazz-pop/Bossa Nova crossover comes with my highest recommendations for those wanting to dive into paradise island mode without having to go anywhere.
Yutaka Yokokura is a singer, keyboardist and occasional producer who hasn't had a whole lot of exposure over the years: vocal smooth jazz stuff had a pretty short shelf life for many people even when the stuff got major radio play. His voice is very interesting: melodic, hazy, and compelling in an indefinable manner.
Musically things are quite dreamy too - floating keyboards, funky slap-bass, and all in all a summer's treat from that fleeting late 80's/early 90's period where smooth jazz influenced stuff actually had a bit of edge to it. That laidback Bossa Nova utterly drenches the whole of the proceedings too, though its less jazz oriented and more about creating exotic pop appeal.
Personally, the strongest tracks here are the ones which somehow distinguish themselves inventively: a good example of this is the opening title cut, which may be something of a pop masterpiece: vaguely sinister lyrics set against a monstrous groove that, in conjunction, transport your mind to another place and time. But I suppose the whole album is like that too: the luminous production is bold and attractive, making it a struggle NOT to fall under the spell of these songs.
On a closing note, this particular release is quite rare...so strike while the iron is hot my friends. :)
Listen Here - "Another Sun"