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Japan - Gentlemen Take Polaroids CD (album) cover




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3.17 | 95 ratings

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Tom Ozric
Prog Reviewer
3 stars 'Gentlemen Take Polaroids' is a cool, slick journey straight into the jugular of the 80's New Wave scene, not only presenting the public with a sophisticated look of blow-waved hairstyles and crisp, freshly pressed suits, but also providing listeners with an intellectual take on the current trend in music. Robert Palmer this is NOT ! From my P.O.V., it's the creative Fretless Bass work of Mick Karn (whom also possesses the skill of playing oboe and saxes), and Richard Barbieri's Synth textures which save the day and make some of Japan's albums a worthwhile listen.

Quite a number of tracks on this album are well into the 6 minute mark, the title track being over 7 mins long, with the song structures generally kept simple, repetitive and seldom challenge the listener with any complexities, but it's this minimalistic approach that generates the entire purpose of their music. Rob Dean is still on board with a strong guitar presence, drummer Steve Jansen keeps a solid beat, occasionally embellishes the rhythms with his various percussions, and the Bass and Keys just fall into place. I'm a sucker for the longer cuts presented here, especially the track 'Swing' - again it's the synth work and Bass that never fails to impress. 'Nightporter' is an extremely beautiful example of melancholic piano and synth composition, totally transcending any musical fad from that period, and we are also treated to some slightly darker, ambient moments, like what's featured on the piece 'Burning Bridges' (no, not a cover of the Floyd track off 'Obscured by Clouds' !!). Overall, it's this album (my personal preference) and 'Tin Drum' that I find engaging and have no hesitation in awarding 3 stars. Please try.

Tom Ozric | 3/5 |


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