Kalk Zamen Kuri no Hana – Shiina Ringo (2003)
“I’m all grown up now,
so permit me to sing today,
to laugh today
I’ll protect what I will.”
Some say that symmetry is akin to beauty. This album takes the notion of symmetry to ridiculous levels. The track list is symmetrical, the running time is 44:44 and the instruments played and those who played them are also the same at either ends of the album. This self produced record is one that you can tell is meticulously planned down the last detail.
However, I have to admit I didn’t really get into this upon first listening. It’s not the easiest thing to digest, there are so many things going on here that it can make your head spin a bit. I stuck at it though and one day it just clicked. The bombastic opening that left me kind of cold at first suddenly began to fill me with delight.
From then on, every listen became rewarding. I would notice small little details for the first time and appreciate the big things even more. So many things are great, the bridges between the songs, recognising one of the ridiculous amount of obscure instruments used (there is a didgeridoo and vacuum cleaner at one point) and the ending of Souretsu.
The ending of Souretsu is particularly jaw dropping. I wrote a big long paragraph trying to describe it, then realised I just couldn’t. You really just have to listen to it. So do that, go listen and be amazed.
Shuukyou, Meisai, Yattsuke Shigoto, Kuki, Souretsu