Anzenchitai remain the same

Anzenchitai remain the same

Formed in 1973, Anzenchitai became one of Japan's most successful 1980s rock bands. In the past decade, the band has taken frequent breaks to pursue solo careers and in 2008 lead vocalist, Tamaki, announced his retirement. Last year, the band decided to regroup and have just released their 11th album, XI.

The album has an optimistic sound, and features mainly soft rock songs with a few upbeat tunes that feature heavier drums and electric guitar.

The opening track Matane makes interesting use of maracas, chimes and sleigh bells for a mellow sound. The track is reworked three times here, one of which is a refreshing a capella.

Of the faster tracks, Power is probably the most memorable. The song is built on synth riffs and contains hard rock elements with an emphasis on electric guitar and drums. Though the song can get repetitive, the melody is catchy.

Another great song is Ame (Rain), a soothing track based on the sound of rainfall and atmospheric electric guitar.

This album maintains the band's characteristic sound and though the timbre of the singers' voices has changed since the '80s, the style is the same. For fans of soft or pop rock, XI will be an interesting listen.

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