Yurushi by TOKYO OX ISSUE
Released: 22.10.19 / Label: Self Released
TOKYO OX ISSUE is a newer electropop duo hailing from, of course, Tokyo. The duo is made up of model and actress Hinata Kohinata on vocals, and classically trained pianist Shu Katayama on keys. They made a bit of a ripple with their first album, it featured an impressive mastering engineer adding his talents to the lead single (which sounded amazing). But since then it seems like the going has been a bit rough. This track is from their 2nd, and latest, EP “cupola” but it hasn’t seemed to have made as much of an impact. Is it just bad timing, or is the music just not up to snuff? Spoiler: it was probably both.
This track is a bop in its own right, if a bit dated. I feel like the electropop duo thing has been a bit done to death in Japan, and while I enjoy the esoteric piano parts that make this group unique, it’s not enough to really set them apart. The track has got a nice pop groove and some really interesting melodies and solo sections. Hinata’s voice is spectacular here, clear and crisp with a cute tone throughout. It’s exactly the right style of singing for this kind of music. The keyboards are great as well, Shu is having a lot of fun with different pop phrases throughout. But the song suffers from a lack of focus, too many disparate sections and a sense of wandering that muddles the track’s flow. I feel like there’s at least two good songs worth of material here, and it probably should have been split up. The mix is a bit rough as well. Normally not a problem with indie groups, but this track pales in comparison to the lead single from their last album. So a bit of a let down with this release. But I’m looking forward to hearing them grow, and I can’t wait to hear what their next album holds.
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