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Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra - Answer (Cover Artwork)

Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra

Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra: AnswerAnswer (2005)
Ska and Reggae

Reviewer Rating: 4.5


Contributed by: ElVaqueroElVaquero
(others by this writer | submit your own)

To be completely honest, writing this introduction seems rather pointless. Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra are legendary, essential, and flawless. They don't make mistakes. They are a robot of skank sent from the future to teach us how to get down. Ten lions, one god. Ska music. So the question beco.
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To be completely honest, writing this introduction seems rather pointless. Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra are legendary, essential, and flawless. They don't make mistakes. They are a robot of skank sent from the future to teach us how to get down. Ten lions, one god. Ska music.

So the question becomes how Answer compares with the rest of their catalogue. Well, TSPO have had a few very slight problems with inconsistency in the past, but this release is blessed with a balance of equally well-developed songs. There is a goodly number of tempo and style shake-ups throughout the disc. Each individual song has its own character and charm (an essential for the mostly instrumental group); additionally, each member of the band is highlighted at least once during the album, allowing their individual creativity and group cohesiveness to share the spotlight. There are so many interesting variations of the ska genre on this album that it is delicious for both concentrated listening as well as party mixes.

Though all of the tracks are great on their own, there are some immediate standouts such as the soon-to-be-classic "世界地図 (Sekai Chizu)." Drummer Kin-ichi contributes some extremely smooth vocal work to the piece and is further complemented by a fun keyboard solo from Oki. I could go on for lengths just about that one song, but there are others like the rocking "Left With The Dog," or the laid-back "Twilight Slider." Individually, they are all highlights, making Answer by far the most thorough work they've created yet.

I may be gushing, but it's hard for me to understand how someone could not love this album. It doesn't matter if you've never heard of the band or you're an old fan; this is both the perfect introduction and the perfect new addition. Answer is absolutely essential.

[originally reviewed for keikaku.net]

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
punkcover (October 25, 2007)

Yeah, they released 'Wild Peace' last year.

Anonymous (April 25, 2006)

That was 2 years ago, and probably won't happen again any time soon, sadly. Is the band even together anymore? When was their last album relased?

Anonymous (February 23, 2006)

People! If u havent heard yet!! The Skatalites actually invited them to have a tour together!! AND actually said that they would be available for TSPO anytime!! How can they be just exceptional!! TSPO will always be the best...!

Anonymous (February 23, 2006)

People! If u havent heard yet!! The Skatalites actually invited them to have a tour together!! AND actually said that they would be available for TSPO anytime!! How can they be just exceptional!! TSPO will always be the best...!

Anonymous (November 15, 2005)

TSPO kicks major ass!!! Oh, and by the way get a fuckin' clue about what is traditional, 2-tone, and ska-core!!! Don't bitch about the others' style, it's all ska!!!

karasu (July 21, 2005)

Dir en grey - Withering To Death.

Anonymous (June 10, 2005)

Band of the century.

Hands down.

Anonymous (June 2, 2005)

I thought ska was fuckin' dead.

rkl (June 2, 2005)

ha. jazz != structure

tokyo ska paradise orchestra owns.

Anonymous (June 1, 2005)

you probably won't find it cheap since it's new, but with some luck it'll come in an indie record shop. if not this one, try another album, best a best-of (that's how i came to know them).

Anonymous (May 31, 2005)

OC- Actually, the only section in record stores as of late is rock/pop...and then hip hop. Are you trying to say that this genres lack of popularity is some sort of factor in how good and/or bad it is?

We can debate all this Jazz structure shit forever, but I prefer to just go with what sounds good. Most instrumental ska I have heard is quite nicely constructed, but less chaotic then Jazz....I guess thats why its called instrumental ska, and not instrumental jazz. Whatever. This is all pointless anyway. Sorry for even speaking.

This band is excellent and you dont need a singer to rock!

-!GreenVandal!

lushj (May 30, 2005)

FYI, www.interpunk.com has the "Ska me crazy" cd in stock.

istapledmyfoot (May 30, 2005)

I kind of like wanking.

darkstarm (May 30, 2005)

i love jazz but jazz is fucking jazz, man. it's wanking of the highest order. i am of course speaking of this "complex" form of jazz you speak of. wanking. (i put "complex" in quotations because one of if not the most important/popular jazz records of all time is kind of blue, everyone's heard it and it is as simple as jazz comes. it's still fucking incredible.)

besides complexity should never be a determining factor in whether or not music is good. a great JAZZ musician (hal galper, piano player, played with phil woods) once told me, "the best thing you can possibly do in music is to find the easiest way to play something that still sounds great." which basically means whatever comes to you, do it. ska comes to the TSPO who are FANTASTIC musicians doing something great with a genre that most people cna't do anything that great within. get off your high horse and have some fun.

Anonymous (May 30, 2005)

where can i get mp3s of this?

iheartadam (May 29, 2005)

Skanic is releasing another album very soon. I mention this merely because I never could understand the hoohahing behind TSPO.

i-type-poorly (May 29, 2005)

Just a follow up, the stuff i found was from the Gunslingers live album. Holy shit, it rips. My dad and i were just listening to the mp3s in awe of the energy. Great band!
And I love RBF too. What they do isn't ska exactly, but they make great music, in both their musical talent and ultra-cynical songwriting. Can't wait to see them again next month (even if it's without Tyler: who i felt was a big part of their live show).

i-type-poorly (May 29, 2005)

I finally tracked down a slew of mp3's and this stuff is fantastic. To whoever is just casting this band aside, calling the whole genre lame, you're missing out.

CherryColaRain (May 29, 2005)

Ska Kicks alot of ass...all ska does. so i was really disappointed on the dude that said "all u listen to is Reel Big Fish" as if it wasnt Ska...its probably Rock'n'roll with horns but i love RBF probably one of my guilty pleasures

lushj (May 28, 2005)

Thanks for the info on a ska band that's new to me, they sound worth checking out. I'm still trying to track down some cheap Dirty District (French ska band), maybe I'll just give up and buy it on-line somewhere.

Speaking of on-line, I usually go to gemm.com first for used music, not e-bay. It's like abe.com except for music & videos instead of for books. Most of the stores are overseas so there's a good selection of music that's mostly unavailable in the US.

ElVaquero (May 28, 2005)

OC - I dare you to actually listen to this album (which isn't, I might add, all instrumental) and tell me that the music isn't compelling. I'd like to know where you came up with your distaste for instrumental ska. If you really have listened to TSPO and found them boring then hey, that's your opinion. Cool.

It's pretty well known that Japan boasts more ska-punk bands than any other country, but there are also a large number of traditional groups like TSPO (though not as unique and genre-defining obviously) that are also worth checking out. Here are the names of some worth traditionalists: Arts, Determinations (who recently did a live album with Prince Buster), Cool Wise Men, Camel, Doberman.

As for finding the CD cheap, it's probably not going to happen considering the limited availability of used or new Japanese CD's abroad. Also, the album is only a couple months old so don't expect to be paying less than $30. You can fairly easily import it yourself though, sites such as CDJapan and Yesasia offer international shipping, but the best bet is always Amazon Japan. Check it out here: http://www.amazon.co.jp/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0007CGS16/qid=111732809 7/sr=8-4/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i4_xgl15/250-7226543-3360219
$30 for the CD and almost $10 for shipping is really steep, but sometimes it really is worth it.

ubershep (May 28, 2005)

"anyone where where i can find this cd cheap? and don't say ebay"

I gave up on finding them a long time ago, just scour limewire/soulseek/whatever. You'll find what you need. You don't need their album, just their songs.

ubershep (May 28, 2005)

"it's not like there are big "instrumental ska" sections at record stores! "

There aren't big "insturmental jazz" sections either, but there are big just "jazz" sections, just as there are big just "reggae" sections (which is, I don't know, essentially ska).

The beauty of ska isn't just the beat, but the music from the other instruments, experimenting and wandering, that engulf it. The horns, bass, and guitar do that just as well as jazz. Jazz is all fine and dandy, but don't knock ska because you don't get it.

Anonymous (May 28, 2005)

Catch22 isn't ska...it's rock with horns.

Anonymous (May 28, 2005)

I liked that one instrumental song on Keasbey Nights.

Anonymous (May 28, 2005)

Hey !Greenvandal! -

Feel free to disagree, but at least read what I said first. And if you're going to call me ignorant, please bring something a little more compelling than this completely incorrect statement "Different bands have different ways of writing songs, so whether they have singers or not really doesnt effect the construction of their songs."

I also didn't say that instrumental ska lacked jazz structures. I said, and stand by, the statement that instrumental ska rarely manages the complexity of jazz. That's not a criticism, it's a fact.

To me, instrumental ska is not compelling. If you find otherwise, bully for you - but it doesn't make it objectively great music. It seems like a fair number of people agree (at least in principle) with me here: it's not like there are big "instrumental ska" sections at record stores!

OC

i-type-poorly (May 28, 2005)

anyone where where i can find this cd cheap? and don't say ebay

Anonymous (May 28, 2005)

OC, you are really ignorant. Different bands have different ways of writing songs, so whether they have singers or not really doesnt effect the construction of their songs. They can be just as jazzy as with a vocalist, or just as non jazzy with one, thats really a completely unimportant factor.

And another thing...

Instrumental ska lacks Jazzy structure? Are you fucking kidding me??? What rock did you crawl out from under to say something so completely untrue?????

I would say that if you were to compare the structures of instrumental and vocal driven ska you would find that the former is FAR more proficient in not only instrumentation but also song writing almost everytime. There are always exceptions on both sides, but in general thats the way it goes. It has too. Instruments are their only expression, of course they would be better at them.

I think you have been listening to the wrong music.

-!GreenVandal!

Anonymous (May 27, 2005)

Yeah...The SKatalites and Toots and the maytal amke isntrumental ska warranting mroe than one listen...actually...it may be a good idea to only listen to this...no mreo thoguth proviking lyrics of anrachy?...jsut a groove

Anonymous (May 27, 2005)

"世界地図 (Sekai Chizu)."

is my favorite song. i sing along to it all the time.

Anonymous (May 27, 2005)

Whatever. In my opinion, instrumental ska lacks the really interesting and thought-provoking arrangements of good jazz and is missing the added vitality of lyrics. I can't honestly think of an instrumental ska song that was compelling enough to warrant repeated listens. Sure, they might be fun to dance along with for a few minutes, but beyond that... no way. Nein danke.

OC

Anonymous (May 27, 2005)

The fact that you would say that instrumental ska is a cop-out shows that you have no idea what ska music is, that all you listen to is Reel Big Fish, and that you are a total fucking moron.

Crookedsuperhero (May 27, 2005)

This is such great stuff. I downloaded some a while ago and was plesently suprised and extremly impressed.

ubershep (May 27, 2005)

I've downloaded so much crap from this band that I can go a full day and not listen to anything else. Excellent, excellent stuff. I wish Sony would push it over here. They would be huge.

Anonymous (May 27, 2005)

I love incredible crisis...but i always die in the elevator...story of my life

perilafterperil (May 27, 2005)

there's an obscure PSX game called Incredible Crisis, and they do all the music. great game too. TONS of buttons mashing, and the story/characters are just as great.

Anonymous (May 27, 2005)

awsome band with incredible solo players. they're best live, but if you want to start out, try the cd "Ska me crazy", it's a really good best-of.

adam (May 27, 2005)

The very existance of the Skatalites' "Guns Of Navarone" proves you wrong.

-adam

Anonymous (May 27, 2005)

Instrumental ska is such a cop-out. It's like upbeat elevator music.

psychoos231 (May 27, 2005)

I meant "is good"

...i recommend it.

swingline (May 27, 2005)

from what i hear, tokyo spa IS paradise. i wonder if anyone knows what i'm talking about.

psychoos231 (May 27, 2005)

This album i so good. Good review

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