Tokyo Incidents is a five-member band created by Ringo Shiina after she abandoned her solo career.
The band's fourth album, Sports, comprises songs with names that have symmetrical lengths, like the previous releases other albums. This is just one example of the band's many eccentricities.
The album opens with Ikiru (or Living), in which Shiina's strong and controlled vocals stand out from the a cappella background, resembling a solemn ceremony in church. Her initially gentle singing becomes shrieking as the song goes along - a trait characteristic of Shiina.
Utenkekko (Rainy Action) is another highlight. Its funky melody is backed up by scores of tiny, tinkling sounds, and an occasional electronic beeping. The singing is constant, reflecting Shiina's playfulness.
Senko Shojo (Flash Girl) feels like the odd track out. While a theme of impishness runs through the album, this song brings the mood down.
Final track Kimaru (Dying) ironically takes things back to a lighter level. The mix of vocals and instruments is a humorous take on the loss of a beloved.
Shiina's fans may not be impressed, but Sports proves the band isn't afraid to try new things.
YP rating: 3/5