Thursday, September 01, 2016

Berry-Poptune

My 5-year old daughter became instantly intrigued by this album’s sound when I was playing this on the laptop the other night at home. She also took to the front cover art which looks tailor-made to attract any girl with its Pippi Longstocking-like figure floating atop the backdrop imagery of whimsical kawaii. Like so many Japanese acts, the influence of the Ramones plays an integral role. The main riff of the Ramones’ “Do you Remember Rock & Roll Radio?" is employed throughout the song "3 Code." While the Ramones (and Shonen Knife) inspire the rocking parts, there is a predominant pure pop orientation on the whole (somewhere in the vicinity of Peach Kelli Pop, Japanese TV theme songs and Herman’s Hermits). The melodies are fittingly catchy and unencumbered as the song titles (e.g.“Life,” “Pop World,” “Green Guitar”) while the Windex-clear production vividly reveals the springy guitar tones slicing through the Japanese and English lyrics sung in that endearing chirpiness. From the choppy Google “translation” of the Japanese characters found on the artist’s website, I was able to piece together that Berry previously played in two outstanding girl groups from Osaka (the Milkees, the Bunnies). Both of those bands were heavily influenced by American girl group Spector-pop like the Ronettes and the Crystals embellished with a dash of Motown and the vibrancy of the Go-Go's. All of these underlying currents, from both sides of the Pacific, lead us back to this magnetic album, attracting the ears of the young and the youthful alike.

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