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Friday, October 14, 2011

Asakawa Maki -Maki II ( Japan 1971)

An Uncle Roddus Album Review

1. shounen (3:29)
2. nemurunoga kowai (3:40)
3. gin house blues (4:16)
4. hanaichimonme (5:05)
5. govinda (4:02)
6. shounen(part 2) (3:22)
7. mekurabana (3:32)
8. yuki no umi (3:24)
9. minato no higanbana (2:53)
10. watashi ga shoufu ni nattanara (3:45)
11. godown moses (2:26)
12. asahi no ataru ie (6:08)

Sticking with the Japanese scene for this release and this set fits very well with the last review I did, except this one is a far superior album than the previous one, to my ears. Maki has a lovely voice, smooth and clear and easier on my ears than Kiyoko Itoh. A real interesting mix of styles with a strong jazz flavour and blues on some tracks, alt pop on others and even a fairly heavy psych number to make it really interesting. A couple of surprises with the last two tracks, with track 11 we are presented with a very good version of "Go Down Moses", a Spiritual I know quite well and even more surprising is a live Japanese folk type version of "The House Of The Rising Sun", which is brilliant. " Govinda" is very Indian sounding with Sitar and Maki sounds very authentic with her singing. "Shonunen" sounds like something out of the soundtrack to a Western movie, with that melancholic harmoniker in parts before straying into more Blood, Sweat and Tears territory. The Western theme belongs even more strongly to "Yuki No Umi" and to make sure they didn't miss out incorporating every style of modern western music into this album, track ten has a real jazzy funk vibe to it. A wonderful musical journey and worthy of a Roddus rating of 4/5.

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