Susumu Hirasawa – Virtual Rabbit

5 out of 5

Label: Polydor

Produced by: Susumu Hirasawa, Yuichi Kenjo

Susumu Hirasawa comes fully into a realized sound – not a P-Model side project – on his third solo disc, Virtual Rabbit.  Most pleasingly, after the somewhat fractured structure of the preceding The Ghost in Science, Virtual Rabbit is a gorgeously seamless experience, capable of shifting from the poppy trill of opener Stormy Sea to the moving, choral Bandeira Travellers, the subtle Please Push “UNDO” Key, and through the quirky Immortal Man, all without losing the listener in indulgence or immersion-shattering tonal turns.  Which isn’t to say that Hirasawa still isn’t littering these songs with layers of beats and electronics and noise and vocals – this is undeniably the mind (and voice) behind all the previous P-Model insanity – but it all feels honed to a single experience this time: a brilliant, gorgeous, and emotional one.