Out-of-print in the US. Originally released in 1999.
On their third full-length American album, The International Playboy and Playgirl Record
, DJ Yasuharu Konishi and diva Maki Nomiya patiently escort the listener deeper into the filmic life of the fabulously pop. A resonant, quasi-Stephen Hawking, Japanese-speaking narrator describes the life of "Japan's coolest combo" between tracks, which erupt in exuberant, tambourine-sizzling 1960s French orchestral pop of a purity that reveals a mature P5 sound: these are fully orchestrated tunes rather than DJ pastiche. Konishi plays it straight on International Playboy
, and to uncanny effect, as the "la-la-la-la" lyrics of "Week End," the Carpenters-ish "I Hear a Symphony," and the Sgt. Pepper's
-inspired "Magic Twin Candle Tale" sweep the gals through airport lounges with vinyl raincoats swinging over their Nancy Sinatra boots. The Bacharach pop of "Such a Beautiful Girl Like You" and the frugging go-go of "Playboy Playgirl" may be built on sequencers, but they sound so much like live instruments on vinyl that it's creepy. Hard-core turntablists will be disappointed at the lack of variety, but the relentless flow of uptempo horn and string arrangements will be heard at every upscale party and art opening. --Dean Kuipers