13 June 2009

Pizzicato Five - Happy End of the World (1997)

The reviewers over at RYM are a lot more helpful than the people over on allmusic/pitchfork, etc. From now on, RYM reviews take preference over professional reviews.
Anyway, let's get on with it:

"A Japanese masterpiece. The album opens with "The World's Spinning at 45 R.P.M", which is one of my favourite pop song titles ever. The song begins as a pseudo-psychedelic and Beatlesque pop track, before becoming a typically irresistible P5 number. The vibe has been set. "The Earth Goes Around" is nearly as nice, while "Trailer Music" and "Love's Prelude" are nothing but interludes – however, quite interesting ones. "My Baby Portable Player Sound" is the first smash on the album, followed by "Mon Amour Tokyo" which sounds very international in its adult-contemporary pop-schlager tripping. "Collision and Improvisation" is one of those numbers which simply sound wonderful, however inappropriate they may seem. "Arigato We Love You", finally, breaks P5 into a classic quality level; while most of this album's content reminds me of Saint Etienne, I wonder if Saint Etienne has ever made anything this catchy. "Happy Ending" leaves me quite happy, perhaps except for the ending of the song which typically consists of a long pause and a few tens of seconds of something quite non-musical. Beside that, "Porno 3003" (the title possibly inspired by the Sushi 3003 compilation?) is the only filler on the disc. All the other stuff is more or less fascinating: soundtrack to a reality film I would feel superb acting in." - fairyeee (4.5/5)

"When I was in school and the cool kids were all about Nirvana and RATM and The Manics and... well, I don't really remember, I was scrabbling around record shops looking for Pizzicato Five and Melt-Banana albums. Why this happened to me I've never been entirely clear, and it never won me any friends, but for better or for worse, Happy End Of The World ended up being one of the defining albums of my youth, and pretty much everything about it has influenced pretty much everything I'm done, musically or otherwise, for the past 12 years.

Maybe having hunted around for it so long, it could never be anything other than gold, but years later, the sweet demented vocals and the slick élan and the cut-up drums like bloody cannons are just about all I want from music. Without P5, I'd probably think the Blood Brothers were a sack of crap, and where would we be then?" - Fotzepolitic (5/5)

Get it here.

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