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Music Review

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Two Sunsets


Artist: The Pastels / Tenniscoats
RRP: £11.99
07 September 2009

The Pastels/Tenniscoats are two very different bands from the opposite ends of the world that have come together to find they have something in common in their sounds. The Pastels are from Glasgow and Tenniscoats from Tokyo. It was the Tenniscoats who suggested the two come together and booked some studio time while in Glasgow.

After a two or three year period of various recording sessions it seemed like they had reached and accumulated an album of songs. This album is Two Sunsets.

The album opens with the graceful instrumental track of ‘Tokyo Glasgow’, which would calm anyone at the end of a hectic day and certainly has Asian influences throughout.

‘Two Sunsets’ is a superb hybrid of both the Japanese and British music. The vocals are light and beautifully sung in Japanese where the melody is played on muffled brass, which is reminiscent of The Last Of The Summer Wine theme and reminds me of everything British. As this song progresses the tune mellows onto the piano and loosens a little. It’s an emotional song and has heart in it.

The vocals in ‘Song For A Friend’ are in both Japanese and English. It’s a very soft and delicate song. Everything about this track makes me want to smile from the melody to the vocals, whether in English or not.

‘Vivid Youth’ starts with the sophisticated backing melody on the bass guitar, which sets up the whole song. One guitar plays some fresh sounding chords while another plays the light melody of this summery psychedelic tune and the sultry yet angelic vocals come in.

‘Yomigaeru’ is a playful sounding track, with childlike vocals. It appears a little sickly sweet but really I think this is mistaken for the soft tones of the Japanese vocals.

‘Modesty Piece’ is reminiscent of a nursery rhyme, which has been adorned with panpipes and made to sound sophisticated. It actually works and I really like this track, unfortunately it’s only 1 min, 31 sec in length.

‘About You’ is a slower paced track. It feels like it has much more depth than the previous tracks but unfortunately, the vocals feel very flat and it is not in the same league at all as the other songs.

With a track entitled ‘Boats’, I thought I would be able to imagine myself on the water but this is not the case. It doesn’t really have that ‘water’ feel to it. This is a slow plinky plink song which I could quite happily leave.

The high-pitched vocals on ‘Hikoki’ are a little annoying but I think they can be forgiven with the woodwind playing throughout and giving this song some soulful feel to it.

‘Sodane’ is faster paced and more lively. It’s a cheeky little song and I like the fact that it feels alive and is buzzing with energy.

Taking the slow approach again is ‘Mou Mou Rainbow’. The guitar is a little repetitive and the vocals seem quite whiney. It’s not a favourite of mine.

‘Start Slowly So We Sound Like a Loch’ really does start slowly! I would say that it winds the album down but apart from a couple of tracks it never really got up to any speed.

This is a very intimate sounding album and it’s obvious from listening that the bands behind it believe in and have a strong love of music. Their passion is shown in each track and most songs are good but there are always a few risqué songs that wont please everyone.


Helena Rea

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