May 28

[review] Miu Sakamoto – Phantom Girl

Phantom Girl, like Miu Sakamoto’s singing, is hauntingly perfect in the clarity of the instruments and depth of layering sounds. The silent pauses in each track echo the emotions in her voice. The low key electro-pop instrumentals of Phantom Girl are thanks to producer Dave Liang of the Shanghai Restoration Project; the small doses of music brilliantly mixed with Sakamoto’s voice. Each little noise is a raindrop and, falling together, they make beautiful songs, bright and magical like a sun shower.

“The Blue Hour” opens softly with the slight off-key ring of a toy piano and a slow progression of introduced sounds that crescendo with Miu’s singing before tapering into the twilight of piano keys again.

The rest of the album follows suite, “Phantom Girls First Love” and “Destination” are just a touch upbeat and joyful.  The sparse instrumentals, accompanying piano and layering of rhythms highlight Sakamoto’s sweet voice as the melody. Her own voice is layered into many of the songs, falling together to create her voice or falling apart to create indistinct notes.

The last two songs, “Our Home” and “A Girl’s Waltz”, don’t have any lyrics.  There’s just a piano and Sakamoto’s voice, the lyrics forgotten or no longer necessary to Miu’s outlook of the world that her album encompasses.

Phantom Girl is Miu Sakamoto in a quiet, special light. She ghosts in and out of rhythm, constantly searching for the melody and holding your ears captive until the last song dissipates like mist in the morning.

Official Miu Sakamoto Website – http://www.miuskmt.com/
Miu Sakamoto Myspace – http://www.myspace.com/miusakamoto
Shanghai Restoration Project – http://shanghairestorationproject.com/home.html