Pizzicato Five

"P5 mastermind Yasuharu Konishi filches snippets spanning the decades and crossing various genres, from Serge Gainsbourg to Lena Horne to Saint Etienne. Throw in sultry vocalist Maki and it adds up to a shower of oh-so-groovy trances and uptempo beats--an electronic vaudeville show that's magically delicious." --John Elsasser, Magnet

Tokyo's PIZZICATO FIVE turns moody and introspective, even minor-key, on the group's fourth US album. In a departure from the drum-and-bass-influenced stylings of their previous record Happy End Of The World and its companion remix volume, the seminal Shibuya-kei duo of Yasuharu Konishi and Nomiya Maki now take inspiration from the soft-rock arrangements of Curt Boettcher and Jimmy Webb (The Fifth Dimension, The Association). Harpsichords, lush orchestrations, and multi-part harmonies are the score for this rich, slightly uneasy record.

This is not to say PIZZICATO FIVE has given up the cartoonish joy that informs all Yasuharu and Nomiya's work; indeed, Playboy and Playgirl is most reminiscent of the hugely successful American debut Made in USA. "Concerto" and "Magic Twin Candle Tale" are upbeat, danceable romps that are impossible not to sing along to (if you know Japanese). The sly, grooving horns of "Such A Beautiful Girl Like You" and the stomping go-go beat of "Playboy, Playgirl" make a perfect soundtrack for an evening out at your favorite bar or brothel.

Currently, Yasuharu Konishi is deeply involved in a project which may result in a film and album co-release, so PIZZICATO FIVE won't be touring the US this year. Yet, the more inspired dance clubs shall certainly be making their presence known.
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