Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra - Answer (Cover Artwork)

Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra

Answer (2005)


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]