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Japanese Breakfast - Jubilee (Album Review)

Tuesday, 08 June 2021 Written by Huw Baines

If it’s true that grief takes many forms, then Japanese Breakfast’s ‘Jubilee’ suggests that joy is similarly complex. Following two excellent albums that documented the loss of her mother, Michelle Zauner’s third LP takes its time in evoking the different shades of happiness and release that make up the other end of the spectrum.

Meshing together several complementary styles—from lilting pop, to funk, and widescreen indie—Zauner finds fresh room to manoeuvre, utilising some trenchant hooks to keep the whole thing pulling in one direction.

The sublime opener Paprika, all horn flourishes and quiet ambition, and the faultlessly melodic Kokomo, IN bookend the tone-setting lead single Be Sweet, a riotous nod to ‘80s synth-pop that stands apart from Zauner’s previous work in its strutting power.

Posing in Bondage, a quasi-industrial exploration that is equally fresh to her palette, works just as well—as its elements coalesce and swell there is a sort of transcendence.

Zauner has not misplaced her indie smarts, though, and back-to-back Savage Good Boy and In Hell stand as two of her finest songs. The first is a biting satire of the ultra-rich set to the sunniest of rolling hooks, while the latter is a punishingly sad look at the vagaries of loss twinned with a skipping keyboard refrain.

There isn’t such a thing as a bad Japanese Breakfast record at this point in the game, but ‘Jubilee’ holds its predecessors at arm’s length in a way that appears intentional from a thematic point of view, and natural from a quality standpoint. These are great songs performed with wit and style. You can’t really ask for more than that.

Japanese Breakfast Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Fri March 25 2022 - BRISTOL SWX
Sat March 26 2022 - MANCHESTER Manchester Academy 2
Sun March 27 2022 - GLASGOW Saint Luke's
Mon March 28 2022 - LEEDS Brudenell Social Club
Wed March 30 2022 - LONDON O2 Forum Kentish Town

Compare & Buy Japanese Breakfast Tickets at Stereoboard.com.


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