Nagisa Ni Te Dream Sounds

Not even a year has passed since Japanese psych-folk-pop duo released Same As A Flower, and now Shinji Shibayama and newly appointed full-fledged member Masako Takeda are already back with album number six. At first, the mere four tracks listed may be a little dissuading, but Dream Sounds straps you in for over 40 minutes of engaging, Japanese-language bliss. Designed as a somewhat re-recorded greatest hits package, the album plays out innocently like a brand new record. "The True World” and "Me, On the Beach” follow a slow-burning blueprint, featuring both Shibayama and Takeda trading vocals over hushed, extended snail-paced folk jams. "Anxiety,” on the other hand, tries another route, kicking up a rather conventional dose of hook-filled fuzz pop that can easily be deemed their most accessible song to date. What makes up for half of the album’s running time though is the epic closer, "The True Sun.” Covering 21 minutes, it’s an obvious wink of the eye by Shibayama to his idol Neil Young. The sadness that transpires through the indulgent guitar solo half way through (which is also resurrected at the end) is unabashedly the work of a Crazy Horse fanatic, and the best lesson anyone could teach on how to write a beautiful homage. (Jagjaguwar)