William Bell - 1967 - The Soul Of A Bell

 


Let's start this year proper with some great old school soul / R&B. William Bell is actually still alive during the time I'm writing this post but I'm not very familiar with his entire catalog. This was his very first album and it's fairly conventionally safe. The album can be roughly separated into two categories which are: slow songs and fast songs. Riveting; I know. Bell definitely excels in slow songs and those are my favorite on this album while the faster, upbeat ones are alright (my favorite of the jumpier ones is track 10) but are often too cheesy or even outright annoying (Eloise) to me. All the slow ones though are really a treat and sometimes when the organs chime in I get a funny funeral doom feeling. It's doom metal...but soul. I don't know, I get that vibe.

The biggest issue with this record is that during the quiet parts you can hear a very audible hiss which unfortunately comes from the original tapes and can't be removed (or they didn't try). If you can get past that then you'll have a wonderful soulful time.

Get it.

Fav track.

Stream it!

End of 2021 and start of 2022!


Holy shit, it's over already. Can someone please stop time? It seems like whoever is driving time has passed the speed limit a long while ago!

The world seems to have stopped at around 2019 tho and history repeats in a sense that I managed to get covid a second time almost exactly a year from the last time! While last time it was't really a joking ordeal (had a 3 month sick leave) this time around I got over it in like a day or two but I'm still in isolation. Isolation is actually pretty nice this time of year since it is too cold to be outside anyway and I was getting tired of my endless treks across Europe. With new year comes new hopes but dressed in old rags. This time it will be different! I doubt it but maybe something changes.

The year 2021 in music to me has been pretty uneventful for the most part. The biggest discovery that I had was Keith Jarrett and his solo piano performances. Yeah I know he's pretty well known but I never got around to his music before and I can honestly say that his solo piano concerts really live up to the hype. That is if you enjoy listening to one lone dude hammering on a piano for an hour. 

Anything else? Let's see... Well metal had a couple of good releases that I liked. Warloghe released an album but can it count as new? It really is just a bunch of songs they wrote 10 years ago but never recorded. Despite that it still is my fabled album of the year. I love how it sounds and the feeling I get when I listen to it is the feeling of helpless decay. Absolutely marvelous. Moving past the metal cavemen I would also like to mention King Gizzards album from the year and that one saw a lot of rotation during my long waits at airports or transports. Another not metal release that I adored is the collaborative effort between Evan Parker and some new-ish kids on the block. A really solid and intense live performance that we are lucky to be able to witness in recording at least.

That's it - pretty much. Brief much like the post number for 2021. This year maybe more maybe less - who knows? I have like a week more of isolation so I hope to drum up some more posts. I do have a couple albums I wanna talk to about with the abyss of the internet. In any case - here's the list:


METAL:

01 - Warloghe - Three Angled Void

02 - Lvcifyre - The Broken Seal

03 - Clandestine Blaze - Secrets of Laceration

04 - Korgonthurus - XX

05 - Alda - A Distant Fire

06 - ЛЕШИЙ - ПОГАНЫЕ СНЫ

07 - Silvanthrone - Forbidden Pathways to Ancient Wisdom

08 - Voidsphere - To Overtake | To Overcome

09 - Warmoon Lord - Battlespells

10 - Frozen Flesh Order - Extra Terrestrial Terrorism


NOT-METAL:

01 - Natural Information Society with Evan Parker - descension(Out Of Our Constrictions)

02 - King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard - Butterfly 3000

03 - DJ PoolBoi - Rarities EP

04 - A Victory For The Sullen - Invisible Cities

05 - Godspeed You! Black Emperor - G_d's Pee AT STATE'S END!

06 - Chris Potter - Sunrise Reprise

07 - Toumani Diabaté & London Symphony Orchestra - Kôrôlén

08 - Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders & London Symphony Orchestra - Promises

09 - Serena Gabriel Featuring Steve Roach - Seeing Inside

10 - Menagerie - Many Worlds


TOP DISAPPOINTMENTS (THAT I MIGHT ENJOY IN A FEW YEARS/DECADES):

01 - Ad Nauseam - Imperative Imperceptible Impulse

02 - Paysage d'Hiver - Geister

03 - Funeral Mist - Deiform

04 - Phrenelith - Chimaera

05 - Hyperdontia - Hideous Entity


TOP EARWORMS:

01 - King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Shanghai

02 - dj poolboi - i don't really mind (feat. Su Lee)

03 - Only Fire - SEKTAŠICA (REMIX) [BRAK NA NEVIĐENO]

04 - placeboing - DOOR STUCK remix

05 - Target Demographic - Start Again


Be safe out there and happy late new year everyone!


Cecil Taylor - 1974 - Silent Tongues

 


If I can describe this year in one word then that word would be: traveling. I did a lot of travels and a lot of those travels were by car. Driving 500 to 600 kilometres in one day alone and free to listen to whatever I want for hours. Certainly I always had a soft spot for difficult music but these long drives allowed me to dedicate a lot more head space to it and enjoy it with new perspectives and refreshed vigor.

Cecil Taylor undoubtedly fits in this category of difficult music. Difficult to focus on, difficult to process, difficult to endure maybe but definitely easy to have a dismissive opinion on it. Over the years my favorite albums by him were albums where he had groups of musicians with him and solo albums I've tried maybe once but quickly passed on them. Conquistador definitely still is my favorite album by him, closely followed by the immense live album - Nefertiti but only recently I've grown to appreciate his solo albums. 

I've read descriptions of these albums as being more percussive than pianist. A statement that I can definitely understand and see where it comes from. From my perspective, which is a perspective of a dumb fucking elitist caveman metalhead, Cecils playing sounds to me like primordial versions of guitar solos that Trey Azagthoth did on Morbid Angel albums.

I get that this is a stretch and an unfair comparison but I hear it. Maybe I'm just crazy. But Cecils solo performances are never focused on structured playing - it is sculpting with sound. Textures and layers of sound, morphing into an infernal whirlwind of piano keys that rises and falls throughout the album as he sees or feels. Unbarred pure expression limited by very little. Kinda like the early extreme metal scene.

In any case this album definitely isn't for anyone but one day you might sit down and suddenly it'll all make sense and you'll enjoy it. For me it only took a 6 hour drive from Rijeka to Genoa - for you it will be something different. No shame in trying!

Get.

Reuploading old(er) requests.

Hello everyone! Second post this year and already more than half of the year is gone!

Time certainly flies when one gets older (pushing 31 this year) and busy with traveling around (my work is mostly unaffected by traveling restrictions).

Since a couple of requested mounted over the months I've decided to make it a little special this time around in the sense that since most of these are super old posts I will reflect upon them in chronological order of requests. You can find fresh links in the original posts.

Piana - Ephermal

Original post here.

Oh God I was 17 when I posted this. Naturally I did not have much to say about it because (if memory serves) I was discovering a lot of new musical directions and styles in those days. I got fed up with metal which was my primary diet up until that year or somewhere around it. Synth pop this definitely is not but very relaxing it definitely still is. 

The vocals, today, are a bit too high pitched for me to enjoy them fully. There are several layers of electronic and ambient music going on in the background with Piana's voice kicking in every now and then but never sticking around for too long. Short clean verses and melancholic passages. I probably spent a lot of time listening to this on the bus going home after school.

I never listen to this anymore, last time I gave it a listen it was in 2017 and that was just going through one album. Before that I was listening to it in 2010 on a more frequent basis. My interest in Piana obviously faded away but relistening to it now I can say that I still like it but does not captivate me as much as I it did before. Some of the layering can be a bit too much in certain songs. It definitely is, as mentioned in the original post, music for sunsets in autumn.

Hako Yamazaki - ハコのお箱

Original post here.

I still very much like Yamazakis music. In my pantheon of female Japanese vocalists she firmly holds the third place being behind only Morita Douji and Meiko Kaji.

Yamazakis best period is definitely during the 70s but she continued to be a very productive person throughout her career that went well into the 2000s. This isn't exactly an album of new songs but is rather a collection of her older songs reimagined by herself.

In my original post I was 19 at the time and I was most likely really fucking bummed out about being absolutely terrible in college. So depressing folk music that I can't understand definitely made me feel good. My guesses about the context of this release was on point despite not doing much research about it.

Today I rarely visit this album but I really should. Even though the songs aren't new they have a new approach that I'm liking a lot. Most of them are stripped down and vocals are more cleaner in production. Perhaps a bit too sterile on some tracks but overall really good stuff for the most part.

Ralfi Pagan - The Legend

Original post here.

Ah yes the sensual sound of a latino lover. I discovered this guy while at the age of 28 and I remember that year I was generally discovering latin and salsa music. Something I liked to avoid because my dad was really into it; he still is. Ralfi dude isn't very known or popular or very original but he does have a really good voice that I like a lot. His voice is quite feminine and music accentuates this a lot by being mostly slow love songs. This is great if you're in the mood for it but objectively nothing particular. Make It With You is the song that made me interested in him so you might also start from there (the song is linked in the original post).

Bix Beiderbecke - Anthology

Original post here.

Another post from 2018! The person commenting actually said it best so let me quote:

I find a lot of jazz of this period rather timeless even with the very primitive recording tech.

This pretty much sums up my opinion of Bix and the 20s-30s era in general as well. Jazz went on to evolve into many interesting forms but there is certainly something special and unique in dixieland jazz that will never be replicated again. Not in my lifetime at least.

And that's it! Sorry for not reuploading sooner. I read all of the comments and I do feel bad about not reuploading sooner but it is what it is. Some things never change.

I have a huge multi part post in the making for a while now, I hope to finish it this year. It's going to be a thorough look at one of my favorite (active) bands. But who knows when it will be don. I hope to do some shorter shares in the meantime. No promises!

Stay safe everyone and see you around!

Vemod - 2012 - Venter På Stormene

 


What better way to start a year than with some finely crafted black metal? I don't see why not so let's head off in that direction.

Vemod is a Norwegian band I discovered quite a while ago when I went to see Mgla in concert during their With Hearts Towards None tour. Accompanying bands were Svartidaudi and One Tail One Head. The biggest disappointment of the evening was One Tail One Head which seemed like this really dumb gimmicky 2nd wave worship at the time but I went home I decided to give them a second chance and see how they sound on CD. Wasn't very happy with what I heard but my habit of digging through associated acts while I listen to albums paid off as I stumbled upon Vemod. The artwork captivated me so I gave it a try and I was rewarded with a very fine listening experience.

Vemod's style is deeply rooted in the old school style of black metal, there's not much here in terms of experimental riffs or out of the box thinking compositions. What Vemod excels in is what all good black metal albums should excel in and that is atmosphere. It is melancholic without being edgy, it is somber without being cheesy. It feels very honest and natural in all of the four tracks that this album offers. Complementing the melancholic black metal are ambient passages that feel at home in between and during the metal parts. The third track on this album is entirely ambient and probably my highlight of the whole journey. I also feel like they managed to tastefully implement some post-rock influence as well as there are some less distorted passages every now and then (most notably on the second track). 

Vemod have finally announced a new album for this year and I have my fingers crossed that it will be at least as good as this one if not even better. Until then there is no time like now to get into their first album.

Dig it.


End of 2020!


 Hello friends,

it has definitely been way too long since I made any meaningful posts but despite the silence I still wanna make my annual end of the year post. Even with all of the ruckus with the virus and everything I spent most of my year in travel. My work is now such that I travel all over Europe visiting port cities and doing my thing at shipyards (service of particular electrical systems on vessels of all kinds). I enjoy my job and I enjoy the travel, even the restrictions made the travel more enjoyable as there are less lines at the airports. But with good things also came the bad as I did eventually contract the virus. As luck would have it I got it somewhere during my last return trip of the year so I'm spending the holidays in isolation with relatively mild symptoms.

On a brighter side Spotify came to Croatia finally this year. It's a platform that I never paid much attention to as most of the music I listen is from files on my PC but a friend of mine gifted me a spot on his premium package and I've been enjoying it a lot and I listened to much more music this year than compared to previous two years combined almost (lowest playcounts of all time for me according to lastfm were past two years). Generally I stuck to what I knew but I did discover a couple of albums that I want to share and also a couple of Sun Ra albums as well. I just have to sit down and actually post them. With that in mind and now that I'm more accustomed to my work (ie it's less stressful now) I should be able to write more. But you know how it goes already - no promises. :)

2020 in music



As usual at the end of this post you will find all of the albums I've liked from this year. I didn't go too much in depth for this year, most of this stuff I heard by word of mouth or I already followed these bands from before. If I had to pick a definite favorite then I would pick the new Havukruunu album. For my taste it is maybe too happy but somehow all of it fits together so well. It's grand and it's majestic but I love it, sounds very sincere. It feels like they finally nailed the sound that they wanted to do all along. A couple of more favorites from the list would be the new Korgonthurus (very good traditional black metal with fantastic pained screaming vocals), Nimbifer (only a demo but very concise and promising, all of their stuff so far has been great), Slift (stoner is not a genre I often visit but this one felt super fresh and fun) and Sweven (ex Morbus Chron) made a very melancholic and beautiful album that sounds to me like the whole thing is one long song.

While most of my listening this year was dedicated to metal music I did hear a couple of albums from other genres. Most notably the Sun Ra Arkestra led by Marshall Allen has released their first album after more than two decades of silence. It is much more vocal focus than I would like and most of the songs are interpretations of old material but all of it is quite good. Standout tracks for me are obviously the new ones written by Marshall. I was worried it might be too normal but weirdness starts around the middle and it was a warm reminder that they don't fuck around when free improvisation is concerned. Aside from Ra I also really liked the Black Magick SS album, some folks are avoiding it out of political ideology and I have no problem with that but I like it (sans potential nazi ideology). I think it's a fantastic little album that is pushing the ideas and styles brought on their last two albums. The synths are super strong on it and the pink is more than justified in terms of tones. I didn't like it at all when I first heard it but it crept back on to me one song at a time.


Another notable event for me in music was that I managed to attend the Im Wald "private" premiere of the album in Switzerland. It definitely was an interesting experience even if it "just" was listening to black metal with strangers. This was my first time in Switzerland and I absolutely adore the country, I wanna go back there for some holidays again. The moment I saw the forests and mountains and the small town where he lives - all of his music I've been listening to years and years clicked instantaneously. The albums itself is... alright? Generally it's pretty good but I think it's bloated, a lot of fat could be trimmed and nothing would change. It was nice seeing that the guy behind Paysage d'Hiver genuinely enjoys the music he makes and is generally a very loveable and down to earth guy so in a way I can excuse the self indulged time length purely because of his personality. Attending that event was definitely an experience I will cherish for the rest of my life. I was pretty sad that the album got leaked beforehand as it hurt the guy pretty badly (from what I could tell from his posts) but also surprised it took a lot of time to leak. In the end it all turned out ok, a lot of people bought and loved the album.

With all that out of the way here are all the albums I've liked in alphabetical order:

Black & Death metal:

Abigor - Totschläger (A Saintslayer's Songbook)
Afterbirth - Four Dimensional Flesh
Akantha / Hajduk /Nimbifer / Sørgelig - Ruins of Humanity
Arkhtinn - Astrophobia (split w Starless Domain)
Ars Magna Umbrae - Apotheosis
Awenden - Golden Hour
Battle Dagorath - Abyss Horizons
Black Curse - Endless Wound
Bone Awl - An Obelisk Marks The Line
Cemetery Filth - Dominion
Dearth - To Crown All Befoulment
Faidra - Six Voices Inside
Fluisteraars - Bloem
Havukruunu - Uinuos Syömein Sota
Imperial Triumphant - Alphaville
Inquisition - Black Mass for a Mass Grave
Invincible Force - Decomposed Sacramentum
Khors - Where the Word Acquires Eternity
Korgonthurus - Kuolleestasyntynyt
Malicious - Deranged Hexes
Mystras - Castles Conquered And Reclaimed
Nimbifer - Demo II
Obsidian Tongue - Volume III
Omegavortex - Black Abomination Spawn
Oranssi Pazuzu - Mestarin Kynsi
Ossaert - Bedehuis
Paysage d'Hiver - Im Wald
Perdition Temple - Sacraments of Descension
Porta Nigra - Schöpfungswut
Precambrian - Tectonics
Putrid - Antichrist Above
Serment - Chante- Ô Flamme de la Liberté
Skáphe - Skáphe 3
Spectral Lore & Mare Cognitum - Wanderers Astrology Of The Nine
Svrm - Занепад
Sweven - The Eternal Resonance
Titaan - Itima
Ulcerate - Stare Into Death And Be Still
Voidsphere - To Sense|To Perceive
Warp Chamber - Implements Of Excruciation
Yaldabaoth - That Which Whets the Saccharine Palate
Ygg - The Last Scald

Everything else:

Andrew Jackson Jihad - Good Luck Everybody
Black Magick SS - Rainbow Nights
Bohren & der Club of Gore - Patchouli Blue
Boris - NO
Botanist - Photosynthesis
DJ Poolboi - it's good to hear your voice
Elder - Omens
Hail Spirit Noir - Eden in Reverse
Haunt - Mind Freeze
Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids- Shaman!
Lychgate - Also Sprach Futura
Mamaleek - Come & See
Midnight Odyssey - Ruins of a Celestial Fire
Slift - Ummon
Sun Ra Arkestra - Swirling

That's it for 2020! See you all next time and happy new year!

Sun Ra - 1979 - Days of Happiness or God Is More Than Love Can Ever Be


Days of Happiness or God Is More Than Love Can Ever Be is an album that came at a time when Sun Ra was encouraged by Paul Bley (according to the bio that I've read) to express and focus more on his pianist talents rather than on big band settings. According to Bley, Ra was hiding behind a big band due to insecurity over his playing and he needed encouragement to play solo. Probably the most famous record that came out of this was the St. Luis Blues one but we also got this album during that period which was a trio setting.

I'll be honest and say that I dislike solo piano albums because I find them sounding barren and inhuman. Ra to me never seemed like a very interesting player to me anyway, it's what he wrote for the band that interests me. This album though is perfect because while Sun Ra really is the focal point of this he is backed by a drummer and a bassist which gives much desired depth to the whole thing. Helping with all of this is also a solid sound mixing and production making all three instruments visibly heard and distinguishable at all times.

The playing itself is a great mixture of structure and freedom. Ra reminds me of Cecil (I might be biased here) but he is, surprisingly, much more stable and less free-ish in his playing. Ra was infatuated with the swing era despite what his music might suggest so it's very interesting to hear standard swing/dixie rhythms suddenly breaking down and erupting into a lava of free jazz notes. For someone who is very familiar with a lot of big band stuff that Ra did this album is quite a refreshment for the ears but the best part is that the album can stand on its own and can be looked at without any extra baggage.

in memoriam


たとえば ぼくが死んだら
そっと忘れて欲しい
淋しい時は ぼくの好きな
菜の花畑で泣いてくれ

たとえば 眠れぬ夜は
暗い海辺の窓から
ぼくの名前を 風にのせて
そっと呼んでくれ

たとえば 雨にうたれて
杏子の花が散っている
故郷をすてた ぼくが上着の
衿を立てて歩いてる

たとえば マッチをすっては
悲しみをもやす
この ぼくの 涙もろい
想いは 何だろう

たとえば ぼくが死んだら
そっと忘れて欲しい
淋しい時は ぼくの好きな
菜の花畑で泣いてくれ  

01-15-1953 // 04-24-2018

Psycroptic ‎- 2003 - The Scepter Of The Ancients


Riding on a solid debut album and garnering decent attention the band went on and made a second album two years after their first one. In two years time they absolutely refined and polished their sound up to near perfection.

The vocals are even more insane and impactful than on the first album and the guitar parts got even more wilder and spastic. The interplay between the vocals and the guitars is constantly going on and each is competing to outdo the other. It's almost like a jazz cutting contest at times. The album opens with a song that is a summary of everything that this band is and is probably the best song they ever recorded. As opposed to the first album which ha more of a uncut gem feel this album offers much catchier and more recognizable songs. Most of them seem impactful and more aptly composed. There's nothing that the first album does that this one does lousier. Even tho this one is a clear improvement I still think the first one also offers a good chunk of enjoyment.

Psycroptic after this album sadly parted ways with their vocalist which obviously damaged the developed experience gained making these tracks but I think they are doing well for themselves. I sometimes listen to their later album (Observant is alright and so is the follow up to this one) but generally it's not my cup tea anymore. We still have these two so better something than nothing!

Psycroptic - 2001 - The Isle Of Disenchantment


I...I was absolutely sure I shared this album before. But I didn't for some reason? I even remember typing out the text for it. Maybe I had a dream about it and just accepted that it actually happened. Speaking of which, I noticed I posted a really low amount of death metal. 23? That's it? Maybe I stored it under a different tag (I really need to redo the whole tagging scheme from ground up) and can't find it anymore. But hey, at least I have something to talk about now!

Psycroptic is a band from Tasmania (Australia) that has been around for over a decade or so. I've actually heard about them when they released their second album in 2003 as they offered two or three tracks for free when it came out. Since I'll be posting both albums I'm going to stop with the history here and focus on their first album here in this post.

Psycroptic has two unique things going for them, the first and most obvious is the seemingly endless vocal range of the vocalist and the second is a very intricate fast, short tremoloing guitar riffs. The vocals are the absolute star as they are as unique as they are varied. I guess you could describe them as gasping raspy growling? They sound strained and in pain - which is absolutely great and sometimes as the part goes along it develops into something else like cleans or even deeper growls. They are all over the place and ask for your attention at all times. On this record I can't claim this is good all of the time as sometimes the clean parts sound really bad and sometimes they can't quite reach for the effect they tried to get but other than that it's a real treat. The also mentioned guitar riffs are fast, pommeling and razor sharp often changing speed and tempo several times throughout a single song. They follow the shifts in vocals making these two the main dueling forces on the album. Unfortunately the mixing isn't as great as the music is and I think the drums could have been toned down (especially the snare) but such were the times I guess or maybe just inexperience. They don't make the album unlistenable so It's not that bad.

Takehiko Honda - 1973 - I Love You


Speaking of jazz from Japan, here's another little album that I come back to every now and then. This is a trio of piano, bass and drums. Takehiko Honda is the pianist and he's backed by Yoshio Suzuki on bass and Hiroshi Murakami on drums, all of them played on Kosuke Mine records. Unlike Kosuke Mine records this one is a much more relaxed set that is all standards. Honda leads the group pretty much throughout the set with mostly him soloing and the guys in the back chiming in every now and then. It's fairly good for what it is and that is an exercise in standards but if you're okay with that I think you should get enjoyment out of it. All players seem comfortable and relaxed giving this album a friendly and approachable atmosphere. The album cover is absolutely badass as well.

Takeo Moriyama & Shigeharu Mukai - 1978 - Hush-A-Bye


This album is a collaboration of sorts between Takeo Moriyama (drums) and Shigeharu Mukai (trombone) all backed by Moriyama's regular band. I'll be honest right at start and say that this album is absolutely nothing special or new. It's a very solid The Great Coltrane Quartet sound/style worship peppered with some basic standards. Mukai shines on the Lover Man ballad but otherwise isn't that much of a presence and his co-star while being a pretty good sounding drummer doesn't seem all very much interested in being at the front. Maybe he just wasn't feeling it much on this session. As with a lot of Japanese jazz records that I've heard these guys lack imagination but they compensate with intensity and energy. This is most evident in the opening and closing tracks which are incidentally also the longest ones on this record. Both of these tracks are carried by the pianist and the saxophonist and it feels like the album should have focused more on them rather than on the stars of the album. All in all this is a lovely record and you'll know immediately if you're into it or not. Not very essential but its accessibility and energy make it a good ride that you take every once in a while.

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan - 1992 - Devotional Songs


Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan is a religious singer from Pakistan. I am spiritually impaired and have no idea what Sufi or Qawwali is but if it means something to you then you should be pleased to know that Khan is really into it. The music is an uplifting mix of Khan's singing (which reminds me of Mexican/Spanish and Gypsy serenading) with guitars and string instruments all backed by some serious tabla drumming in the back. The star of the show is obviously Khan's very intense and expressive singing but he is also backed by a choir that repeats his lyrics giving the whole thing much more depth and dynamic. I personally think that one needs not to be religious in order to enjoy a religious record and I can feel the intensity of his fervor and joy from singing even though I have nothing to do with it. If you're looking for something that will refresh or diversify your usual palette then I think you should give this one a go.

Akiko Yano - 1976 - Japanese Girl


Akiko Yano is a female Japanese pop/jazz singer and also a pianist. This was her debut album (she has another one from this year according to discogs) and apparently it made a splash in the scene for its unique sound. In retrospective I don't think it's that unique considering that in the 70s there were a lot of more experimental Japanese "sort of" mainstream artists but the hype should not detract the actual value of this record. The music is a big salad of all kinds of styles but if we tried we could pin it on psychedelic pop? Maybe? The album starts with a relatively jazzy track that devolves into scat singing solo by Akiko. As we go on with the tracks you'll notice more congas getting ever present.  But they stop and the music take a more Japanese turn in sound. After a while it tones down and when you reach track six it's all happy piano ballad with prog rock weirdness in the back. The album is glued together with a consistently great vocal performance by Akiko in all of the tracks. For some it might be over-expressive but if you're used to jazzy vocals you should not have a problem with this. As with music her singing changes styles often but she seems mostly comfortable in all of the settings. This album is a journey, if you're up for one then you're bound to have a good time. Background listening this is not.