A quirky mix of electronica and hip-hop has taken Suiyoubi no Campanella from indie darling to major label signee (and “SMAP x SMAP” guest) in the course of three years. Major label debut “Uma” doesn’t quite match up to the group’s final indie effort, “Zipang,” but it still shows a lot of promise.
The fresh sound that landed Suiyoubi its major label deal is evident from opening track “Chupacabra.” It has a house vibe that sounds less quirky than the group usually does, something more appropriate for a basement club, but the addition of synths keeps it from getting too serious. Then there’s “Tsuchinoko,” a bouncy track that sees Suiyoubi doing what it does best: earwormy dance music with an indie-pop tinge. Later, the group is assisted by French electronic act Club Cheval on piano house number “Phoenix,” a nod to 1990s nostalgia.
One thing to note, while “Uma” is a good album it doesn’t quite generate the same excitement that Suiyoubi generated as an indie act. Here’s hoping that any future recording tries to recapture that indie spirit rather than simply replicate that indie sound.
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