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Blurred In My Mirror

Tujiko Noriko

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Album Review

Blurred in My Mirror is unlike any of Tujiko Noriko's previous releases. Then again, it seems this remark applies to everything she puts out. What sets this album apart is that it features Noriko the performer, the singer, which, given her rather limited vocal capabilities, puts her in a somewhat diminished role. Songwriting, electronics, and production duties are turned over to sound artist Lawrence English. The singer wrote all the lyrics, and co-wrote two songs with English and one ("Tablet for Memory") with Aki Onda and Sakana Hosomi — it is the only track in which English's involvement is limited to sitting in the producer's chair. English's songs harness the natural cuteness factor of Noriko's voice to loose structures ranging from too subtly stated melodies to confusing arrangements. Noriko's voice is presented naked, occasionally multi-tracked. The lack of effects enhances the naïve side of her performance, but it also highlights her limitations. In addition to electronics, the instrumentation includes mallet percussion (David Kemp), guitar (Benjamin Thompson, Etienne Bideau-Rey, Noriko), and drums (John Chantler), with only one or two instruments appearing at a time. "Niagara Hospital" opens the album with a highlight, its nicely crafted melody setting a standard the other songs do not measure up to. The concluding "Magpies and Mornings" provides another strong moment, mostly because English and Noriko ditch the song format and stick to a textural experimental piece. The other tracks are hit or miss, leaving the listener with the impression of a well-intended collaboration that failed to set out clear goals. ~ François Couture, Rovi

Blurred In My Mirror, Tujiko Noriko
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