Yura Yura Teikoku both evolved and grew immensely as a band while they were active through the 90’s and the first decade of the 21st century.
Not only were they an extremely genuine garage punk/psychedelic rock band, the lyrics and the artworks that Shintaro Sakamoto created had a unique sense of humor which gave the band a special identity.
Starting with the release of their 2003 album, Yura Yura Teikoku no Memai featuring female singers, they gradually started to deviate from their original established image as a band, and in their 2007 album, Hollow Me/ Beautiful, their distinguished strong emotions were sealed and they broke new grounds that were utterly unimaginable from their original sounds.
After the break up of the band, Shintaro Sakamoto released a solo album, How To Live With A Phantom in 2011: pop music that fit right in with the line up of a FM radio station’s morning hour songs. With this album, the “artificial beauty” which Sakamoto is aiming at was liberated from the “intentionality” still seen in the Hollow Me/ Beautiful album.
In “NYC Tonight (Version Shintaro Sakamoto),” both pleasure and sensuality were let off the hook. Where they’re headed is beyond one’s imagination. The typicality of the sax solo sound made me laugh out loud. This is nothing but psychedelic music that acts directly on the consciousness of the listener. It’s not a song to be played as a BGM for drug taking, the song itself has psychedelic effects. I definitely need Shintaro Sakamoto’s music.