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The Japanese House Good At Falling

Good At Falling
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The strange thing about The Japanese House's first album, Good at Falling, is that it doesn't feel at all like a debut.

Since mid-2015 Amber Bain has been releasing regular EPs and singles as The Japanese House, so fans have already heard her style evolve from something minimalist, fragile and strange towards something more poppy, loaded with ear-catching synths and danceable beats. Good at Falling is very much the album anyone familiar with Bain's discography would have expected, especially if they'd already heard the earlier singles from the project like 'Lilo'. In many ways, it's the logical next step for Bain.

[Good at Falling] uses the tropes of genre well and to their fullest effect

But while Amber has perhaps softened her sonic palette in recent years, that's not to say her music is any worse because of it. I can understand why a musician of her talent would want to appeal to as many people as possible, and although the album is firmly rooted in pop, it uses the tropes of genre well and to their fullest effect. Let's not forget, a great pop album is just as good as a great album of any other genre. The only problem with pop is that a lot of it is lazy and poorly put together; the difference, perhaps, between the Pet Shop Boys and Ed Sheeran.

One constant that runs through Bain's musical output from beginning to end like writing through a stick of rock are those short, simple, punchy refrains and couplets. They're haikus for the antidepressant era: "I'm a sugar coated pill and I'm a pick me up and put me down again."

Liam Casey

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