the usagi incidents


Tokyo Jihen - Kyouiku

Unless you've been living under a rock for the last 10 years in Japan, you know who Shiina Ringo and PE'Z are.

Ladies and Gentlemen, this is the band of the future. Shiina Ringo decided to go into a band after publicly declaring she was tired of doing solo work in late 2003. Fans complained about her seeming "mellowing out" after she gave birth to her son in mid-2002, following with her third and final solo album "Karuki, Zamen, Kuri no Hana" that featured a decidedly different musical style that we as Ringo fans were all used to.

But if it's one thing that we Ringo fans should know by now, it's that Ringo is CONSTANTLY evolving as an artist.

Tokyo Jihen is no exception. Made of the members of PE'Z, the producer of SPITZ, and Ringo herself, they showcase some of the best and decidedly most influential talent to come out of Japan from the past 10 years. They dropped their first single, Gunjyou Byouri, in September 2004 with HUGE success. This single was a throwback to
Ringo's first album, "Muzai Moritorium", from 1998 and was a wonderful reminder of how far our Ringo has come over the years. This single won over many previously disgruntled fans, and we all waited impatiently for the first album, "Kyouiku", which dropped in November.

"Kyouiku", meaning "education", is a very fitting title for this collection of material. From rock to jazz, Ringo fans haven't seen this varied amount of styles on an album since the cover album in 2002. Ringo and her band bestow tributes to the fans and the musical styles they've learned from in their careers so far. Ringo even shows that her English hasn't decayed with the witty "Genjitsu wo Warau"("You say your words as if you've contrived them/I know your arrogance but do not point it out.."), and that her love for punk noise has not gone away with "Service".

If you've never experienced the wonder that is Shiina Ringo or the famous material of SPITZ and PE'Z, this is the time to do it. See all three artists collide with a force that is breathtaking and a completely unforgettable listening experience.

Final Review: A+++

Favourite tracks off of this album:

Tokyo Jihen - Shuraba (single)
Tokyo Jihen - Shuraba (PV)
Tokyo Jihen - Dynamite In! (DVD)


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