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Porno Graffitti

Porno Graffitti

Apparently, the band is named after the album by Extreme, not an attempt to be ridiculously offensive. Besides, Porno Graffitti is famous for creating bright, ridiculously catchy pop tunes, often featuring fast vocals. Despite originally being a trio with guitar and bass, they don't have much of a "band sound," instead usually displaying a wide variety of pop styles. Furthermore, after their first four albums, bassist Tama left to pursue a solo career. Porno Graffitti continued as a duo, but I was already losing interest. While I'm sure they have made some great music since then, their albums didn't seem worth investing in anymore.

Album Reviews

My first song I heard was HITORI NO yoru, which was pretty much the catchiest pop song I had ever heard. As it turns out, Porno Graffitti's first album was simply full of these insanely infectious songs. Every single song has something going for it. Even the slow songs are great: yuushoku is a gentler, acoustic guitar piece, and DESSAN #1 is a fantastic, rockier, intense slow song. Needless to say all the upbeat songs feature great variety and are all good. I was so impressed with their debut and I feel Romantist Egoist is their quintessential album.

Best tracks:
1. HITORI NO yoru
2. DESSAN #1

The second album, foo?, seemed to up the ante when it came to the singles released before the album. The three singles were all fantastic, and I thought the album would be really great. Well, most of the songs are good, with my favorite album tracks being the almost rap-like INNERVISIONS, the slow and bluesy ai naki..., and the synthpop with tragic lyrics kuusou kagaku shounen. The album is primarily marred by Name is man, a plodding soft rock piece that moves at a boring pace, and DESSAN #2, which sounds like a very cheesy pop ballad, contrasting greatly with the awesome DESSAN #1 from the first album. foo? just doesn't quite measure up to the high standard set by its predecessor, even if it has some great tunes.

Best tracks:
2. kuusou kagaku shounen

A few things happened in Porno Graffitti land. The album had the salsa-themed AGEHA chou as its first single, but the next two singles weren't quite as good as what had come previously. Apparently, the band wanted to move into more of a "band sound" with this album, even hiring some session drummers for the recording. Most songs feature a stripped down guitar/bass/drums arrangement, which ends up making it seem bland compared to their other albums. These songs just aren't nearly as memorable. There are some highlights, including a return to form with the beautiful ballad HAATO, but otherwise I was disappointed with this album.

Best tracks:
1. Aokage

This is the last album to feature bassist Tama. Maybe they've turned things around since, but this album was even more of a letdown than the previous one. We're back to a more vibrant pop sound, but there are an absurd number of crappy songs on this one. The album starts fine, with four good songs in a row, but then it just dies. DESSAN #2, VINTEEJI, subarashiki jinsei kana?, and akai ORENJI all bore me. In the middle is WAARUDO-SATADEE GURAFUTI, which would be an excellent, catchy single; except it sounds like a cheap MYUUJIKKU AWAA knock-off. There's a couple more songs I like towards the end, but otherwise I found this album so unimpressive that I stopped following Porno Graffitti, even though they've continued to be hugely successful.

Best tracks:
2. uzu
3. KARUMA no saka

Top 10 Songs

  2. HITORI NO yoru
  3. kuusou kagaku shounen
  4. DESSAN #1
  6. Aokage
  8. HAATO
  10. APORO