Japanese Lycra seems to be one guy from New Zealand. His self-released debut Japanese Lycra shows potential as well as specific things that could use improvement.
I was most reminded of Antony and The Johnsons and Perfume Genius for a number of reasons but mostly the delicate delivery of the piano and vocals. Piano and vocals are the main component and at its most inspired Japanese Lycra can sound quiet beautiful.
The most obvious issue to me was that these songs are drawn out when they really didn't need to be. I really enjoyed the opener but it would have been so much much impactful at around three minutes rather than seven. The changes are subtle and is anchored by the vocal harmonies. Perhaps the song could have justified the seven minutes with more instrumentation, crescendos or significant transition but that just wasn't the case.
Because of this the album does require patience on songs like “Vision Screen” and the title track. Tracks like “9 to 5” and “1950's Dancehall Interrupted” fare much better.
The other minor issues are timing and production value. There were moments where the piano is off. As far as production this is music that really requires great recording and mix quality. It just doesn’t work lo-fi and that's where the recording veers. The singer does have a great voice. It’s often exceptional. You really need to hear every nuance and breath with music this sparse and detailed.
This is a case of an artist who is unique and just needs to get to the next level. He is sitting on a boatload of talent. If he can starting dotting his I’s and crossing his t’s he can be making a sophomore release that will get people's attention. I’d keep your eyes and ears on this artist.
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