Soak is the long awaited bath after a hard day's work. It is the calmness after the storm, the rainbow after the raindrops. It is wondrous and colourous in its simplicity. Like the yellows and reds and blues of the cover, this album sweeps you into a tiedye pool of electronic and indie pop. For a casual listener like myself, this a great re-introduction to the female four piece rock bank, Negoto.
Negoto presents their fifth studio album, Soak. Over a year has passed since I sampled Asymmetry . Hey, it's been a while and I missed my catchy electropop playlists. While this album delivers catchy singles like Dancer in the Hanabira and Inside Outside, the real stars of the show are scattered in small numbers.
Actually, the reason why I arose from my hiatus was because of Suichuu Toshi. I have moments. When I hear a great song and I stop everything that I'm doing. It used to happen all the time. Times when I was at a busy mall, rush hour in the street, small chat at a cafe. I can't focus on anything else but the beat of the drum, the gliding of strings, the emotion of the vocals. This was one of those moments.
Music is objective and subjective at the same time. A song can be a masterpiece in technicalities. Experiences and memories is where music diverges into subjectivity. With Suichuu Toshi, I was brought back into my school days of Japanese music. Days where Japanese music brought me a strange sort of comfort in despite its cultural and language barriers. This song sounds so soft and bittersweet. It builds and builds on a simple melody. Like the title, the song is a journey to a city underwater. Just a gentle, wishful submersion into dark waters lined with glowing jellyfish. The pendulum of high and low notes like schools of fish swimming back and forth. The revolving synths and the drums so memorising you close your eyes and lose yourself into dark barrels of the ocean. Even though the lyrics tell you otherwise: to keep your eyes open and keep going on. This song is by far, the epitome of the album.
Overall Soak was standard. Some tracks made it worthwhile to listen. The sparkling pop notes dancing against Aoyama Sachiko's sweet, breathy vocals in Saturday Night. Rich bass and echoing electric guitar against jazzy keys and percussion guide Undone into undiscovered combinations.
Honestly, I try not to expect to enjoy all tracks on an album. Most of the time, it sets me up for disappointment. If there is at least one track that makes me something, then an artist has done a miraculous job already. To be able to convey their vision, to sing their story. That's impressive. It's strange how I will graviate towards some tracks and not to others. Because there are some songs so striking, I just can't format my words to. I.e., Suichuu Toshi.