Friday, July 20, 2007

Well, that'll learn me.

In the throes of my day long Shiina Ringo obsession, I figured I'd walk up to Book Off, the oddly named Japanese book/DVD/CD store located not too far from my office. So, skirting the recently created crater at 41st and Lex and the associated massive clean-up details attending to it, I made my way over at lunch. Sure enough, there was a Shiina Ringo section with six or seven discs available. Though I'd done some research yesterday, I didn't quite have her sequence of releases committed to memory and the fact that virtually everything was in Japanese didn't provide me with many hints. So I picked up "Adult pour Femme", a 2006 release ("Kalk..." was from 2003, I think) and a two disc package from, as it turned out, 2001 bearing the titles "Kame" and "Mori".

These latter are collections of covers, mostly Japanese songs but a few US/British as well ("Autumn Leaves", "Yer Blues", "More"). They're by and large just awful. Some of the pieces themselves are as bad as you can possibly imagine, the schlockiest of pop ballads with all affiliated detritus. I'm fairly sure it's not a joke. Just brutal stuff; it's going to be hard giving them my requisite minimum of two listens. "Well", I thought, "that was 2001. She obviously made some kind of creative leap between then and the
album I heard the day before. Maybe she advanced on that one for "Adult..."

Erm, it's better than those two I guess but doesn't come remotely close to KSK. At its best, it's somewhere in Ambitious Lovers territory. Jazz rocky in a competent manner for part, lounge-y for most of the rest but not very interesting at all.

Wha' happened?

Well, worth a shot I suppose, but very disappointing. Back to the Brax....

3 comments:

Jon said...

did your obsession involve reading the thread I linked to? I thought it was pretty clear there that the one you already had was far and away the best thing she's done so far.

Brian Olewnick said...

Yeah, I read the thread. I knew it was likely that KSK was the best but there were enough positive comments on some of the other things that I didn't expect the quality drop-off to be so abrupt.

Live and learn.

Steve said...

It could be worse: I had a friend that refused to believe that an Eddie Murphy movie could drop below a reasonable baseline of quality and rented Harlem Nights. He still refuses to own up to how gawdawful putrid it was.