LABELS: Riverboat/World Music Network
PERFORMER: Takashi Hirayasu (vocals, sanshin), Bob Brozman (slide guitar)
CATALOGUE NO: TUGCD 1023
NANKURU NAISA is a follow-up to last year’s big-selling Jin Jin/Firefly. You’ll need to like twanging Hawaiian guitar mixed with bouncy Okinawan vocals. Otherwise, for all the enjoyment that the musicians radiate – their note-bending techniques mesh really well – many of the tracks can come over like an unintentionally funny karaoke act.
It’s a pity, because Hirayasu’s singing is lively and sensitive and he has provided some fine melodic material. But then there are Brozman’s whimsical pings and swoops. Try what he does to the lyrical flights of ‘Haha no uta’ to check whether this is for you.