Rhythm Fantasy World 2003

Rhythm Fantasy are Reiko Nishida and Marilyn Lo, a Japanese duo whose love of pop music has obviously been a huge influence on their own work. But their idea of what makes a good pop song is not the same as the rest of the world, and therein lays the problem. The music sounds horribly dated, and not in a good way. Because most of the songs are driven along by keyboards, so strings are of the synthetic variety, as are most of the other instruments — the occasional appearance of a real guitar comes as a welcome surprise and even a relief. All seven tracks are love songs that walk that thin line between sweet and much too sweet without deciding which side of the line to come down on. The best tracks are written by Tatuhiko Watanabe (of the Penelopes), indicating that maybe Lo and Nishida aren’t skilled enough songwriters to fill a CD with their own tunes yet. There are moments (such as "Break Of Dawn”) that are not too bad at all, but the majority of World 2003 is completely forgettable or even worse. (Vaudeville Park)