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Japan - Obscure Alternatives CD (album) cover




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2.47 | 47 ratings

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3 stars Japan has really improved on this second album. I enjoyed very few parts on their debut album which I found a bit trivial and not very exciting. On Obscure Alternatives there are more promising initiatives.

Automatic Gun has some really nice bass playing and is generally a pretty good song. Rhodesia which has a repetitive groove and some nice keyboard underlaying by Richard Barbieri ( now in Porcupine Tree) is even better. The album has started in a very good fashion. Love is Infectious continues the high level and has a great memorable guitar riff. Sometimes I Feel So Low isnīt my cup of tea and is below par IMO. Itīs not a complete failure though.

The title track starts out very promising with some rythmic guitar and bass and it has an overall feel that is pretty dark. It might be my favorite here. The next track called Deviation is my least favoured song here and itīs a great contrast to the brilliant title track. Suburban Berlin is another favorite of mine. Note that there is even a somewhat symphonic chorus in this song. Itīs a very good song. The album ends with The Tenant which is a beatiful instrumental song with lots of beatiful yet subtle instrumental interplay. It reminds me of a lighter Talk Talk.

The musicians have really stepped up since the debut. Richard Barbieriīs keyboards are much more hearable in the soundscape than on the debut and then I have to praise Mick Karn for his fabulous bass playing. That man touches genious at times IMO.

The production is very good, caught somewhere between the seventies and the eighties.

Japan has really surprised me with Obscure Alternatives, and even though this might not go down in history as the best album in the world or the most progressive one for that matter itīs a good album in my world that even touches excellent at times. 3 stars from me to Obscure Alternatives. I think Iīm slowly becoming a fan of Japan.

UMUR | 3/5 |


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