Thursday, February 28, 2013

advantage Lucy - Have a Good Journey (1996-2000) (2000)

advantage Lucy (Originally Lucy Van Pelt) is a Japanese Indie Pop band that gathers influences from pretty much every feel-good genre there is, from lounge to jangle pop to alternative rock. In 2001 they released the compilation album "Have a Good Journey (1996-2000)" reuniting tracks from all of their albums and EPs released up to the year 2000 including their Lucy Van Pelt stage.

What separates this compilation from most Indie Pop compilations or from all Indie albums in general for that matter is that advantage Lucy has effortlessly pulled off what most Indie Pop bands don't achieve in their entire career; the natural ability to write compelling and short pop songs that don't feel manipulated or forced in any manner. advantage Lucy achieved fullness in a very pure yet varied form, not a single moment on this compilation is wasted, there is always a new musical idea waiting to put a smile on our faces. Whether it's the sharp and simple guitar leads from "Sora Wa Ugokazuni" or the electronic stunts of "Sunny", the semi-heavy guitar rhythms of "Citrus" or even the bitter-sweet whisperish vocals of "Nico" we are never deceived with even a single moment of empty space or "filler" in any of the songs' structures. The vocalist's work was especially refined and soothing, a definite highlight of this compilation, it's amazing how she can quickly change and change back from singing lyrics to wordless vocals like on the track "Citrus", there is an obvious vocalist-band chemistry that I personally can't get enough of. The last three tracks of this compilation are specially stellar, my personal favourite was "Frizz Pop", this track just sums up the whole album for me, it starts with an angry distorted guitar and quickly moves in into these gorgeous sugary vocals very á la Stereolab, then a flute comes in to complement this song, giving it a really funky-feel and putting an ironic point at the end of every verse the vocalists sings, and then the song finishes in a very humorous manner.

advantage Lucy is an example to follow for all Indie Bands and not only J-pop bands, an enormously entertaining compilation that deserves to be replicated.

"It's so funny, it's so sunny, it's so lovely, it's so funky"