Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Hiroshima - Go (1987)

I'd never owned or even so much as heard a Hiroshima album before, but when I recently saw Go in a used bin, I remembered the title from this post, so I picked it up. It's crossover jazz fusion, so much so that Billboard reviewed the album under the pop genre. George Duke produced a few tunes and there's the occasional vocal track, but mainly feeble attempts at a fusion between Japanese folk music and jazz by this LA band.  Lots of synthesized drums and bass lines, but that's to be expected for this time period. The problem is the songwriting - simply going between two or three notes isn't going to catch my ear, it's going to remind me of Orff instruments in a elementary music class.

The best musician, guest guitarist Michael Landau, provides the best solos, doing his best imitation of early 80s Lee Ritenour and/or Steve Lukather. As an album, I don't think it holds up, but stick the tunes in a smooth jazz background mix (as I often do in my office), and the jazzier songs are anodyne. The AC/R&B vocal tunes are a different sort of animal.  Approach with caution, they may turn out to be either friendly or sleeping.

"...they're willing to settle for being the background music at the hippest local Asian fusion restaurant."

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #75
Peak on Billboard's R&B albums chart: #54
Peak on Billboard's Contemporary Jazz albums chart: #1 (8 consecutive weeks, Dec 5, 1987 - Jan 30, 1988)

Tracks: Epic released 3 tunes as singles from this album (311, Hawaiian Electric, and the title track - the latter was released in both 7" and 12" formats) but none saw action on any chart. The better tunes are 311 and I've Been Here Before (which, I'm sure, the composer titled without the slightest bit of irony). The ones to skip are Obon and Even Then. The aforementioned vocal tunes are 311, Even Then, and Why Can't I Love You.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: None

With a title like Go, the group is asking for it, so I want credit for not using the obvious reviews for this post, such as: "Stop." or "Do not collect $200." (Yes, I'm aware that the word "go" translates in Japanese to the number 5 and this was the group's fifth album, but they're still asking for it.)

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