music, reviews

Album review: Asako Toki – STANDARDS: In a Sentimental Mood

After her band’s dissolution in 2003, former Cymbals frontwoman Asako Toki reinvented herself as a jazz singer; this year’s STANDARDS: In a Sentimental Mood is a commemoration of the 10-year anniversary of STANDARDS, her debut as a solo artist. Like that 2004 album and its 2005 follow-up STANDARDS on the SofaIn a Sentimental Mood finds the singer performing light jazz versions of English-language pop standards – much as Maki Nomiya’s live album from earlier this month tackled Shibuya-kei selections with a jazzy touch.

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music, reviews

Album review: Maki Nomiya – Miss Maki Nomiya Sings Shibuya-kei Standards

maki The latest from the former Pizzicato Five singer is a live album – recorded during her Billboard Live Tokyo performance from November 3 of last year (an event which seems to have become a yearly tradition – she did two encore shows this year as well). Miss Maki Nomiya Sings Shibuya-kei Standards finds her revisiting familiar territory with covers of songs from Cornelius, Original Love (whose vocalist, Takao Tajima, she had replaced when she joined Pizzicato Five), her own former band, and some oddities somewhat outside of the direct sphere of Shibuya-kei. Continue reading

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