Turquoise Hip’s debut album, Another Angle, opens with the track “Walk With Me”, that enlists the listeners in taking the enlightened steps toward a shared experience with the musicians. Almost like an intimate request that welcomes the audience in enjoying the album as much as Kenji and Miu seemed to delight in the process behind the making of the album itself, there is an apparent joy permeating the duo’s work that is nearly infectious. Listeners can’t help but get sucked into this whirl of enthusiasm.
In “Katharsis”, “Rainy”, and “Toge to Shizuku”, the songs begin to resemble ambient music. Those who are unfamiliar with the Japanese language may find that the language barriers confine the lyrics into the background, while the poetry of the instrumentals coalescing with the soul-searching quality of the vocals gets pushed into the forefront. This is not altogether a bad thing. The different elements within the album makes the layered sounds on Another Angle highly textured. They are a feel-good band, but, at the same time, with depth, proving that Turquoise Hip is not just another happy-go lucky group. Their positive energy and great vibe honed to a tee on these skillfully crafted tracks, hails them as a musical force to be reckoned with.
Toward the fifth track, titled, “Cat Serenade”, listeners will begin to surrender to Miu’s bitter-sweet vocals with a bent that is redolent with a jazzy, electric flavor. The introduction to the track is filled with ambiguous sounds: noises from a busy street as cars drive pass with hints of vague vocals getting lost in the wind are some of the broken sounds that gets previewed. Next, the clinking and clanking of a train passing by a crossway intersection jolts the listener out of their reverie and the melancholy of the track gets fully realized in Miu’s warbly vocals. The disjuncture over the course of the song is rather ambivalent: the distant pining and slow melodies makes this a rather beautiful piece.
The latter half of the album consists of reprises from earlier parts of the album, remixes that like the album title provides a different take on an already given perspective. The “Mutation”, “Around the World”, “Cat Serenade”, “Rainy”, and “Katharsis”- L.A. remixes are gorgeous and spangly with scintillating sounds that avidly captures the contours of Kenji and Miu’s original songs. Instead of deriving from the cohesiveness of the album, the remixes provide a more upbeat music environment, and given the contrasts that will eventually align itself over the course of the album, the scope that these electronic renditions provide gives the album an impressive depth.
Another Angle is definitely an album that is fashioned to speak. Sophisticated, while soothing and suave all at once, Turquoise Hip is a talented band with a distinct unified sound that strives to make an impression. They definitely succeed in that arena. Their breathing taking sound is orchestrated to capture something that will resound in listeners. Kenji and Miu’s music is a fierce soaring thing, and has the power to sonically move.