It took me two years to commit to a Wii, but I was an early (the earliest?) adopter of singer Hitoto Yo and her weird ass punctuation (referenced in today’s entry title). For three albums now I’ve held out hope that she could return to the exclamation marks of her debut single “Morai Naki,” a blissful update of Asian folk with the slightest tinge of R&B, but her latest album Key is more an ellipses which leaves stronger punctuation firmly locked away in the past.
The spoken word interludes which seemed harmless in Hito Omoi‘s “Hito Shian,” are embarassing, damaging and worst of all invasive; on Key. Hitoto has a way with words but she always sounds like she’s reading to a classroom of sleepy toddlers. Toddlers who would probably enjoy the light and easy rhythms of this album.
“Chandelier” has Celtic textures which work well with Hitoto’s clear vocals, but “moonlight” may be the least consequential song she’s ever recorded -the very definition of filler. Only it doesn’t fill, it just sucks. But not in the way “Kingyo Sukui” sucked, which was in a catchy, stupid, weird and annoying way (I loved that song!) Consider it a consolation prize that retro rocker “Chabangeki” managed to sneak on the CD at all.
It hurts to see a girl with so much weird energy and a penchant for dressing like someone’s couture-loving grandmother settle for songs like “Shiori,” a fine song though it may be, that try to relive her most commercial moments from “Hanamizuki.” At this rate she’ll be singing that song on Kouhaku every year, locked out of putting any newer material into the running.
On a side note check out Hitoto’s videos for “Tsunaide Te” and “Tadaima” as both are fragile and gorgeous art.