Fujiya & Miyagi – Ventrilloquizzing
Yep Roc Records
By Adam Drew
I was really excited to get my hands on the new Fujiya & Miyagi. The English band’s previous albums have been consistently good; full of layered, sugarcane synths, tweaked guitars, thick bass grooves and clean production. With such a warm rich sound, they let the vocals play an almost secondary role to the instrumentation. Lyrics were random, but somewhat tied together to make them lighthearted and amusing.
Opener and title track “Ventriloquizzing” sets a different tone for this, their fourth proper studio release due out on Yep Roc January 25. It’s well arranged and has a spark of light to it – the second half is one of the best moments on the album, with keys distorted full of guitar effects as accompaniment – but I’m too turned off by the words to fully enjoy it.
Unfortunately, this trend continues track after track – good music, bad words. Take this from “Tinsel and Glitter”: “A pair of stiletto’s
can’t hit the high notes dressed up in ribbons and bows.” I almost jumped into my player and punched it out.
Elsewhere, lyrics seem almost to be made up on the spot. Singer David Best’s delivery leaves a lot to be desired as well: “monotone,” “unimaginative,” and “irritating” are just a few words that come to mind.
Tracks 2 (“Sixteen Shades of Black & Blue) and 6 (“Pills) are the exceptions. Each captures the band’s previous magic and offer a dead-cool vibe that isn’t derailed by the words, so download those if you’re looking for some cool
singles. – (5/10)