Mrs. Green Apple – Mrs. Green Apple

3 out of 5

Label: EMI

Produced by: (?)

While my preference definitely would have been for MGA to embrace the spazzy rock side of their identity, I appreciate that they did choose a side for their second album, going forward with a full-on poppy front.  They keys are amped up, Motoki Omori tones down his vocal chirps to be a bit more singalong and harmonious, and every track, fast or slow, shines with a good melody and beat.  This is kind of at the sacrifice of any notable single – even the opener doesn’t blaze forth as each of their preceding EPs and albums’ intro tracks have done – but by the same token, even when the disc is indulging in dancier stuff, there’s a good guitar and bass tune to carry it, offering up some toe-tapping rhythm throughout, regardless of its ephemeral nature.

The ghost of good guitarness haunts the album, still making me wish for something a bit more hard-edged: mid-way through, the expansive, string-laden Kujira no Uta has a pretty wonderfully dense, Oasis-y guitar bit that’s deserving of a place on an album with richer tracks to support it.  But again, they chose a side, and I can’t fault them for going with what is likely a more popular sound.  It’s one the group executes well, making for a consistently catchy album.