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Friday, March 21, 2008
Yuki "Video 2"
Whatever you think about the quality of solo output by artsy pop diva Yuki, one-time vocalist with groundbreaking 1990s J-pop act Judy & Mary, you can't deny that she's unique. The singles from her fourth solo album, "Wave" (2006), and those that have followed may seem a bit samey, treading the same club-pop ground with few memorable melodies to properly tax her incredible helium-filled voice, but their videos have proven the perfect showcase for Yuki's sense of the sweetly surreal.
These clips are collected on "Video 2," and they share a common theme of gaudy colors and alien allure, be it from the use of foreign locations, wacky gaijin (foreigners) prancing around in Tudor outfits, or the fantastical "Alice in Wonderland" vibe of "Fugainaiya" (where a pregnant Yuki is dressed as a throne).
"Dramatic" presents footage from a live show, spiced with colorful animated stars and flowers swirling the screen like confetti. And ballet on the beach in "Yorokobi no Tame," an erotically charged spoon-licking session in "Melancholinista" and a spot of full-frontal nudity in "Biscuit" (don't get your hopes up — it's a baby) all combine to present Yuki as a sort of pop-chic Bjork.
While the videos are psychotropic fairy-tale treats, the DVD extras may leave you feeling short-changed. Alternative videos for a couple of tracks (with even more shots of Yuki in that astounding throne outfit) and short making-of videos are interesting for one or two views, but the TV spots and an advert for her next DVD seem like cynical additions. In other words, this is one for the die-hards. And maybe art students.