Plastic Tree - Sanatorium

review - 27.10.2009 19:25

The new Plastic Tree single is a beautiful dreamworld of music.

After the frantic rock of summer single Fukurou, Sanatorium - Plastic Tree's second release with Satou Kenken as drummer - takes the group into quieter waters once more. It is an exercise in shoegazey, dreamy rock; a subtle lullaby that retains a gentle melancholia throughout, both lyrically and musically. Much of this is due to Nakayama Akira's delicately played acoustic guitar and some understated drumming that, together with Ryutaro's breathy vocals, lure the listener into a peaceful place. Plastic Tree has managed to make a quiet, introspective song that displays a gentle, meditative elegance in the music, rather than relying on any attention grabbing gimmicks.

Pied Piper, with spiky opening notes and a marching beat, picks up the pace a bit while still retaining the air of dreaminess in-keeping with the mood of the single. Although the thudding of the guitars during the verses threatens to become repetitive, some lightly played notes hanging in the background save it from becoming a headache. Pied Piper is in itself not a bad song, with a nice amount of variety in pace and Ryutaro's vocals. However, it still feels like Plastic Tree on autodrive. Compared to the quiet beauty of Sanatorium, Pied Piper sadly washes past a bit blandly.

The extras on the CD are instrumentals of both tracks, and rather than being mere karaoke versions, they are themselves quite beautiful to listen to, especially Sanatorium.

In all, this latest offering from Plastic Tree won't please everyone, and certainly the second track is rather formulaic. Yet for a moment, let the calm beauty of Sanatorium wash over you and help you enter Plastic Tree's beautiful dreamworld.
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