She's been there, done that, has our Nanaco Sato....
SHE’S BEEN THERE, DONE THAT, has our Nanaco Sato. Born in Tokyo; an Olympic gymnast during her childhood; began singing at 19; became a photographer; lived in Paris for a few years; returned to Japan in ’92; took up singing again after a 15-year pit stop; and now finds herself releasing new platter ‘Luminus Love In 23’ (the follow-up to 1996’s ‘Love Is A Drug’) with all its postmodern ‘nous’. Unsurprisingly, the phrase “bourgeois arty jazz cack” kinda hits the nail right there, on the head.
So it goes that she draws parallels with equally ambidextrous, Bohemian performance-type Patti Smith. But it isn’t really that accurate because Smith had a sociopolitical agenda that gave her a cutting edge. Whereas Nanaco oozes balmy, hushed mellow tones over pedestrian, PJ Harvey-lite, trip-hop beats while using spurious abstract metaphors such as cats (‘A Cat And A Poet’) and the colour red (‘A Red Fish Loves The Strawberries’) which evoke not one iota of empathy. Forget those weighty comparisons that you’ve read about, and think only of Edie Brickell.
Nanaco’s timing is, of course, impeccable. Where else could such post-Bjvrk easy listening be accepted than the late-’90s where the desire for insipid, indulgent rubbish with beats is rampant? Still, it could be worse. She did, after all, give up singing for 15 years. One-and-a-half decades of Nanaco-free gibberish is something we should thank our lucky stars for.