Cutesy j-pop group of the mangled English type. Song titles include "Strawberry Sleighride," whatever that means. Their pronunciation is atrocious. However, there's something strangely addictive about their bouncety-bounce. They are certainly one of the better bubblegum pop groups if that's your thing (or your guilty pleasure, as it is mine). ... Well, it has been pointed out that I haven't exactly listened to Pizzicato 5's entire oeuvre, and it's possible they can get deeper than I've heard. ^-^ Point taken. Guess it's time for a trip to the Chinatown music stores.

Pizzicato Five devours more musical genres than straightfoward pop… they encompass dance, trance, jungle, James Bond soundtrack, bossa nova, lounge, musique concrete, classical. They are vivid and citational. Since 1985, Pizzicato Five has seen various members come and go. It now exists as the abridged duet of singer Maki Nomiya and composer-slash-mixer-slash-sampler Yasuharu Konishi.

Pizzicato Five compiles convoluted, complex songs interspersed with unrelenting changes: is certainly not background music. Nomiya and Konishi force you to listen and acknowledge their decisions and their restless imaginations. A song may make you feel the groove, baby, it may get your head swinging, your feet swirling, only to shift tempo mid-stride. To dance to Pizzicato Five one must enjoy a schizophrenic body.

Joy is unquestionably the operative term. The multiplicity of Pizzicato Five is born of robust health, of a will to live. This creative force can be seen in all aspects of the Pizzicato Five experience: in the music of course, but just as visibly in the CD packaging which comes with things like a Pizzicato Five Club Membership Card that holds more than a remarkable semblance to a credit card. This same productive urge is observed in Maki Nomiya’s design of her own indefinably chic attire. It’s as if the world’s means of production are not enough, and Pizzicato Five’s exceptional and tremendously fantastique style unendingly requires some new passage of expression.

Since 1985, Pizzicato Five has been and to this day remains a sensation in Japan; they have released over twenty albums. Although Pizzicato Five’s response from the United States has been slow and less obvious, it is certainly growing. Pizzicato Five are polychromatic, clean, eclectic and smart. Think parasols, think Bond style polaroids, think white catsuits, think beauty salons and lace gloves. Think the Eiffel tower and sixties wigs.

Here are some typical (but not necessarily exemplary or definitive) lyrics:

I guess you may misunderstand me yet.
You might even be thinking that I am a
horrible girl

That's right! I am
a liar,
and irresponsible.

But I am
because I am cute.

But I am

because I am cute.

After releasing their album "Çà et Là du Japon," which featured many guest vocalists and, strangely, a cover version of the Japanese-language Pokémon rap, Pizzicato Five officially ceased to exist on March 31, 2001.

Fans of the band would also do well to check out Fantastic Plastic Machine (a.k.a. Tomoyuki Tanaka) if they enjoy P5's Shibuya-kei style and are looking for (somewhat) similar music.

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