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Illustrated History Import
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Puffy Amiyumi ~ Illustrated History
Top Customer Reviews
There's basically something for everyone on this collection and An Illustrated hstory is a great introduction to the wonderful world of Puffy. For starters there's the power pop of True Asia/Asia No Junshin; the Beatlesque That's The Way It Is/Kore ga Watashi no Ikirumichi; the ELO inspired Talalan; the surfing Sunday Girls/Nichiyohbi no Musume; the Stonesy Stray Cats Fever and Jet Police/Jet Keisatsu which closely echoes The Who's Won't Get Fooled Again
Even though much of their material is sung in Japanese, the songs are so hook laden that the language barrier is irrelevant. You can be listening to one of their little mini-masterpieces and suddenly the girls hit a harmony that takes you into a very happy place.
I only discovered them recently and have been smitten ever since!
These two Japanese singers appeal to so many people with there music because of their widespread and varied music styles from song to song.
People that like Puffy Amiyumi shouldnt hesitate to buy this.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The rock-pop Shonen Knife meets the Beatles crunch of "Love So Pure," the English-language version of "Sumireh" opens The Illustrated History.
The next single is an English version of their first big hit "Asia no junshin", titled "Pure Asia" which sounds like something ELO would do on their Time album except quicker and more fun, replete with computerized beeps and sounds.
"That's The Way It Is" is a bit of 60's pop nostalgia kind of like the Shangri-Las girl-pop in one part as well as incorporating a Who guitar riff in parts.
Turn on the mirrorball, lights, and put on the platform shoes! It's 70's disco time with "Electric Beach Fever", and this one is my favourite song here. I may have to get their Jet CD because of this one.
The Shonen Knife-ish "Wild Girls On Circuit", has a racing car theme with the buzzing zooms at the beginning. The phrase "warrateh, dammateh" in one part, means "laugh, shut up!" in Japanese.
The sole representative from their PRMX album, "Sign Of Love", begins with George-of-the-Jungle drums, followed by looped vocals, jungle techno, whistles, and ends up as a kitchen sink mix of sound, a party on the go.
"Puffy De Rumba" is a leisure number that does have a rhumba rhythm but also has similarities to Japanese pop ballads of the 1970's.
"Talalan" has a bouncy, skipping-down-the-street, kicking through the autumn leaves hand-in-hand rhythm.
"Friends" has a beat and instrumentation similar to "You Can't Hurry Love," and the comparisons are apt while "Mother" leans close to the Byrds' "Chestnut Mare" without the Rickenbacker but with the beat.
The Go-Go's-like "Brand New Days" is one of the most upbeat songs on this track, complete with a 60's-like organ.
The vast majority of material is taken from their two best-sellers, Jet (1998) and Fever Fever (1999). Included in the booklet is a graphic timeline of their releases, plus a brief history of Ami and Yumi. The sole difference between this compilation and their The Very Best Of seems to be the inclusion of two singles from Spike (2000) and remixes and unreleased material.
Despite the fact that all but two of the songs are in Japanese, the music's fun and catchy and this collection is Puffy 101 for beginners. People who know Japanese will find this more enjoyable. And for a smidgin of FYI, that's Yumi on the left, Ami on the right. Question: don't they deserve their own movie, with this CD as a soundtrack?
Another big contribution to why I rated this 5 stars is the quality you get for your investment. You get to hear some of Puffy's best music on this compilation, as well as an extra music video if you should load it into your computer. And in case you're worried about the parasitic American music industry, this CD is brought to you by Bar None Records, which is not a member of the RIAA. The sum of all this is that this CD is basically a must-buy for anyone interested in Puffy AmiYumi.
The only one of these that I have had any pleasure in listening to is the Jackson 5. Though they were led by the hand through all of their ventures, they had original songs, they did not pretend to be anything more than what they were, and they were fun.
For a while, I thought that no Manufactured Musician had what it took to match the smile I got on my face from listening to the Jackson 5. Imagine my surprise when I discovered this album, a greatest-hits compilation from the hottest thing in Japan since Tamagotchi.
Puffy AmiYumi (the last part was added in their crossover to the U.S. due to that other former "Puffy" who was popular here) has all the formula for ridicule. Two beautiful young women. They don't play instruments. They don't dance. They don't write their own songs. They don't often sing in harmony. Judging by the music video included in the CD, their greatest assets are their voices, and their blank "Huh?" stares that they do so well.
Yet, with all of that, why am I playing these songs over and over again? The secret behind Puffy's success both with critics and audiences is the fact that they surround themselves with some true talent. The songs are original and fun. No genre is skipped with this duo. Rock, pop, punk, oldies, techno, country, R&B, disco, 80's buttrock, it's all here. In their five-year span, they have had a wonderful variety of songs written for them, and have been aided by a perfectly capable band.
Much credit has to be given to the two women of Puffy, however. A collection of songs with that broad of a range could not be pulled off if the vocals were weak. Puffy rises up to the challenge, though, and varies their vocals to match each genre. They sound slick and glossed for the disco-homage "Electric Beach Party", bright and bubbly for the 50's rock sound of "Girls on Circuit", and hard-edge, reaching for notes they can't hit on the punk-rock "Jet Police". For the most part, the lyrics are in Japanese, and judging from the two English tracks, we aren't missing much. But with songs this fun, comprehensible lyrics would only get in the way.
When it comes down to it, Puffy is still a case of Manufactured Musicians. There are more original bands out there, sure. But Puffy is like a great action film. They're not out to make great art. But if all they're giving us is slick entertainment, then by god, this is the way to do it.