It’s a rite of passage. After ten years, it’s more or less mandatory that a band release a best-of compilation. The electronica duo Boom Boom Satellites has taken that one step further and released two ten-year compilations. 19972007 (reviewed in the October issue of Otaku USA) is a two-disc collection for the Japanese market. Over and Over is the one disc version for the US market.
There really is little difference in the two, length aside. Over and Over is no less of an awe inspiring look back at a strong and diverse carrier. It is a to-the-point collection of the band’s history, choosing the guitar-heavy and high-energy dance tracks over some of the jazz, trip-hop and more experimental stuff that appears on the two-disc version. For overseas fans who could simply never afford to gather up all those pricey imports, Over and Over is an essential must-have.
Turning to present matters, there is the new album To the Loveless. Building on their years of experience and evolution, the duo has crafted something of a magnum opus. To the Loveless is bursting with sprawling, epic productions featuring giant string sections, churning synth lines and their signature skittering, pounding drums.
While primarily made up of these gigantic building blocks in the form of songs like “Back on My Feet,” “Vapour” and “Caught in the Sun,” there are still plenty of softer, more introspective moments oozing around in the small spaces. “To the Loveless” and “Spellbound,” while being a little like bridges between the more massive tracks, are nevertheless very pretty and well formed. Then there’s the album’s most grand andheartfelt song “Stay.” If swaggering dance rock is the usual BBS mode, then this is the opposite. Largely without drums, “Stay” is all sentimental strings and Michiyuki’s voice pleading into a gigantic, swirling ocean of sound.
Taken in all at once, To the Loveless is an almost exhausting journey, both emotionally and sonically. Together with Over and Over they show a rather stunning past as well as, hopefully, a long and productive future.
Albums: Over and Over / To the Loveless
Label: Sony Music Records