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Susumu Yokota Mother

Susumu Yokota is no stranger to drastic change—the veteran Japanese ambient artist actually began his career in the early ’90s as a techno producer. Now, after more than a decade primarily producing instrumental soundscapes, he releases Mother, a collaborative and almost entirely vocal album. Enlisting a variety of vocalists (members of U.K. outfit The Chap are the most noteworthy), Yokota has created a pleasant, albeit somewhat bland, album. The music is lovely, full of delicate arrangements and drifting pastoral synths, but the vocals add little to sonic palette; while perhaps this makes the songs more palatable for the “average” listener, it ultimately detracts from the emotional heft of the music itself.

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