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Free Time [Digipak]
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Album: Free Time [Digipak]
# Song Title   Time
1)    Perfect Freedom
2)    Rock 'n' Roll Cake
3)    Economic Crisis
4)    Do You Happen to Know?
5)    Capybara
6)    Old Stationary Shop, An
7)    Monster Jellyfish
8)    P.Y. O.
9)    Love Song
10)    Star
11)    Rock 'n' Roll Cake [Alternative Version]
12)    Capybara [Techno Version]
 

Album: Free Time [Digipak]
# Song Title   Time
1)    Perfect Freedom
2)    Rock 'n' Roll Cake
3)    Economic Crisis
4)    Do You Happen to Know?
5)    Capybara
6)    Old Stationary Shop, An
7)    Monster Jellyfish
8)    P.Y. O.
9)    Love Song
10)    Star
11)    Rock 'n' Roll Cake [Alternative Version]
12)    Capybara [Techno Version]
 
Product Description
Product Details
Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Ritsuko (guitar, background vocals); Roman Yumeno (guitar).
  • Recording information: Koko Plaza; Sonorous Audio; Vox Studio.
  • Shonen Knife clearly love the Ramones, and it shows: they obviously admire their knack for simple but hooky and hard-rocking tunes, and much like the Brothers from Forest Hills, Shonen Knife are a band with a formula, and more than two decades after releasing their first album, they're still committed to it. Even though Naoko Yamano's simple but enthusiastic technique as a guitarist has improved quite a bit over the years, her songwriting style remains very much the same, devoted to straightforward and upbeat tunes with playful, child-like lyrics, and her current bandmates (bassist Ritsuko Taneda and drummer Etsuko Nakanishi) may be more expert than Shonen Knife Mk. One, but their four-square stomp reveals them to be stubborn, dedicated traditionalists. 2011's Free Time is an improvement over its immediate predecessor, 2009's Super Group, though the ideas behind it are pretty much the same: simple, punk-leaning melodies played with reasonable muscle and speed as Yamano sings about jellyfish, cake, love, fruit, and other topics more befitting a teenage girl than a middle-aged woman. The difference between this and Super Group is that Free Time rocks harder, with Yamano and her rhythm section drawing more sweat and throwing themselves into the material with noticeably greater enthusiasm, while the production gives the guitar a more robust tone and punches up the bass and drums, and "Love Song" is a better pop song than Yamano has written in quite a while. If you're going to follow the Ramones/Shonen Knife analogy, Free Time is not unlike Mondo Bizarro or Animal Boy; not exactly a late-career triumph, but evidence that the band can go through the paces with skill and commitment, and if this isn't likely to make anyone a convert, longtime fans won't walk away disappointed. ~ Mark Deming
Professional Reviews
Q (Magazine) (p.126) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[T]here's a sweetly melancholic edge to 'An Old Stationary Shop,' while 'Economic Crisis' channels Motorhead to bemoan the credit crunch."

Mojo (Publisher) (p.96) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "Their trademark pop -- punky, occasionally cartoonish, sometimes surreal -- made fans out of Nirvana and John Peel, and listening all these years later to FREE TIME, it's easy to hear why."

Uncut (magazine) (p.98) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "The pleasant surprise on their 15th album is how proficient they've become, without surrendering their innocence along the way....'Monster Jellyfish' is pure bubblegum..."
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