steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Rhythm Fantasy

"World 2003" CD

Vaudeville Park Records

Genres: pop, lo-fi, Japanese pop

Vaudeville Park
2-4-25 Nakasu
Takarazuka, Hyogo

Sep 13 - 19 2004

Rhythm Fantasy (yes, it's a corny name) are schoolteachers Marilyn Lo and Reiko Nishida, with Vaudeville Park label head Tatsuhiko Watanabe contributing occasionally with instrumentation and songwriting.  They play spirited pop music, but their style is very lite - featuring lush melodies, soft rhythms, and naive lyrics.

I suppose the key to World 2003 is its unfailing inoffensiveness.  Rhythm Fantasy's immense softness is enough to make Phil Collins sound like Cannibal Corpse.  With regards to songwriting, these songs range from strong to melodically impotent.  "Little Baby" and "Miracle" are two of the catchier songs on this record; the former is a bizarre, cheesy tune with inexplicably unusual lyrics ("You just wanna be a little baby"), while "Miracle" is cute, bubbly, but overly simplistic.  World 2003's less infectious tunes detract from the record's flow considerably.  "Skyscraper" is bland and ineffective, while the unfaltering optimism of "You Deserve the Best in Life" could be it's only good aspect.

All in all, World 2003 is adorable and occasionally quite good, but it will ultimately be too lite and inconsistent to please most listeners.  Only Japanese soft pop diehards should apply.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 7 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2003]