Sunday, 10 March 2013

Illion - Brain Drain

Single review by

Japanese artist Illion is about to begin his assault on UK shores. Formerly a member of the band Radwimps, he's changed tack slightly and sings in English for his solo project as opposed to his native Japanese. His debut solo album 'Ubu' has just been released in the UK and he'll be promoting this with a show in London on March 17th at Shepherd's Bush Empire, before supporting My Bloody Valentine as part of the Tokyo Rocks festival in May. On the album, Illion wrote, played and produced virtually everything himself, and by way of an introduction he gives us the single 'Brain Drain'.

It's a song that doesn't quite fit, but that's rarely a bad thing. Beginning with piano and strings it sounds as though we're in for a classy piece of chamber-pop, and in a way we are, although the emphasis is on the pop aspect. This is a big song where the melody and the vocals take charge, leaving the neatly arranged instruments to provide a supporting role. It chops and changes too, from that grand chorus to a twinkly, almost childlike mid-section before swelling up again for a majestic stab at grabbing your attention without the use of too many studio pyrotechnics. His mission seems to be to bring a touch of culture to pop music. He's succeeded.

Illion's website

Stream the single in full

Buy the album

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