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Album Review

Parade may be Miko (aka Rie Mitsutake)'s first album, but she had been making music for years before the album was released. Parade's songs reflect Miko's seasoned approach in subtle ways; while pieces like "Merry Go Round" and the title track are undeniably winsome, with fittingly lilting, circular melodies, their twittering, slowly sparkling layers of electronics, guitars, and vocals sound so effortless that they're clearly the products of years of experience. And while Miko's songs are lovely, they're not as hyper-sweet as some fans of Japanese indie electronic pop might expect. On "Red Song" and "Kingdom," the gentle sultriness in her voice sounds all the more unique given its delicate surroundings. Likewise, throughout Parade she finds ways to push her music beyond merely atmospheric and into vivid sound pictures. What sounds like a broken calliope pumps away deep in the center of "Heartbreak Blues," while heavily strummed guitars and a siren-like synth cut through Miko's vocals on "Jagajaga." Much of the album floats by blissfully in a dense but soft watercolor haze, even when "Ride on Time" introduces a more shadowy feel or when "Rocket"'s electric piano gets surprisingly funky. There's something new unfolding at almost every turn on Parade, and when its songs are simple, they're not simplistic; when they get more complex, they don't lose the purity that made them charming in the first place.


Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '00s

Miko is the project of Yokohama, Japan's Rie Mitsutake, a singer/multi-instrumentalist who began recording her dream pop-inspired songs on an eight-track recorder in the early 2000s. In 2005, she switched to making music on her laptop, adding more electronic and acoustic elements...
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Parade, Miko
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