How to sell a new album by Hanae that essentially doesn’t sound anything like Hanae, apart for the vocals? That is the main question Hanae’s brilliant, bold and almost totally overlooked new album SHOW GIRL brings to the front. Sure it’s still floating in a sea of bright pink “kawaii-death-crush“, adorable to the eye but deadly for the teeth. However- gone is the sound that people have come to expect. She’s no longer instantly in that “thinking man’s Kyary Pamyu Pamyu” category. No. This is a new Hanae. Wickedly sexy, teddy bear soft- but also suprisingly a little bit insane.
It could come from the use of a plethora of new instruments, and the removal of the chilled out vibe that her original two albums gave. This time round- it’s in your face, playful, jazzy and ultimately- like going to a Hanae themed circus. Admittedly, on first listen, I was taken aback. Disappointed even. Where was my sexy chillout album that I was expecting? However- it didn’t take long for that opinion to change. This album brings forward something that Hanae hasn’t done for me (at least on a music level) before- got my heart racing.
Yes folks. This album is EXCITING. And more than anything- it’s addicting. A near perfectly ordered selection of tracks that flows like melted honey. Crazy samples, amazing instrumentation that literally flies from the speakers. There’s just so much happening here- every listen you’re guaranteed to pick up something you didn’t hear the first time round. Whether it be honky-tonk piano work, gorgeous fiddle playing, or a horn section, there’s always SOMETHING going on. And Hanae is there in the middle of it all, the point of focus- indeed, she really is the SHOW GIRL. And it’s goddamn exhilarating.
At a mere 33 minutes, Hanae wastes no time here- all killer no filler. The most surprising element of the whole thing though- is that the tracks here all need each other. They all play off each other, and wouldn’t work as well individually- indeed, you need to look no further than the single from it “Chiisana Koi no Monogatari“. The song by itself isn’t particularly standout or exciting- but in the context of the album- it’s perfect. And that indeed applies to everything on here- hence why I can’t really point out any highlight tracks (although xxx really gets me hot under the collar). It’s best taken as an album- and it’s downright one of the most surprising releases you’re going to come across this year. When you’re taking a break from TOKYO BLACK HOLE, give this one a spin. Hell, give it 10 spins!
8.5/10 Highly recommended!