Shiina Ringo – Nagaku Mijikai Matsuri / Kamisama, Hotokesama

ringowhyThe amazing Japanese songstress returns with a new summer single and unfortunately it makes me question her integrity as an artist.
When Ringo first started out, she played fairly straight-forward pop-rock mix with few twists here and there which paved her way into stardom. Then came Shouso Strip, KSK or Sanmon Gossip and we were wowed by her genre-bending and experimentation. I do not ardently love each and every song from these albums but I definitely admire the road she has taken. The more recent album – Sunny – is not up to par with her older releases but it is still a decent and pleasant record.
This new single is an atrocity.

Nagaku Mijikai Matsuri (長く短い祭) is a song which is used in (has been created for?) a Coca-Cola TV spot. Hell, it shouldn’t matter right? Musicians do music for money and there’s nothing wrong with that – until the music turns into crap without any redeeming qualities. So what’s my issue with the Cola song? Autotune. This ‘technology’ is responsible for ruining modern day music and respectable singers should stay the fuck away from it.
You know, I probably like some songs with auto-tuned vocals in them (can’t list any from the top of my head though) but it’s easy listening only. Ringo-san you should know better.
Even if I somehow forget about the autotune for a second, there are other problems. It’s a duet with freaking Uki (of Tokyo Jihen), who isn’t a particularly spectacular choice for the second vocals. Tokyo Jihen reunion might come sooner than anyone thinks (it is going to happen, no doubt about that).

Not gonna lie, I bought it because of the cover art.

kami3Finally, the song at its core is just another generic TJ song. Somewhat jazzy, with bossa nova touch. Keep on recycling that material.
While Kamisama, Hotokesama (神様、仏様) is much better than NMM, the tune doesn’t have what it takes to wash away the bad taste of the first track. It’s more rock-ish, the music video is pretty cool, then again it does not have staying power that any decent Shiina Ringo song has.

kami2kami1I believe it’s already the rock bottom, so it can only get better from here. I want a new live dvd!


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