Sunday, July 25, 2021

Japanese Breakfast- ‘Jubilee' Album: To Captivate Every Heart

The most anticipated album of Summer 2021, Korean-American singer and author Michelle Zauner, best known for her stage name Japanese Breakfast, released her third studio album, 'Jubilee,' on June 4, 2021.

The Queen of Melancholy songwriting's newest album is like a burst of hazy sunshine, cheerful and warm, but with a few composed sad songs.

One of the most enthusiastic tracks in the ‘Jubilee’ album is 'Paprika,' the song title is named after Satoshi Kon's Japanese Film, which also inspired Zauner to write a peppy music piece based on the film's bizarre parade scene. "How's it feel to stand at the height of your powers/ To captivate every heart?" Her dreamy pop voice leads the chorus as she gradually breaks into a high-pitched voice, "Oh, it's a rush," you can sense a tone in her voice, a sense of joy and freedom.

In her second track, ‘Be Sweet, ’ Zauner gives us a throwback of the X-Files in her indie music video. She also Collaborated with wild nothing by co-writing the song together as an 80's pop ballad. ''Be sweet to me/ baby/ I wanna believe in you/ I wanna believe (Be sweet)." She harmonizes in tempo, while synth piano perfectly pairs with the chorus; it's insanely catchy—making it a memorable song.

Included in the 'Jubilee' album are original versions, 'In Hell,' and 'Posing in Bondage.' Zauner's 'In Hell' is a heart wrenching song explicitly written about the pain of euthanizing her dog. "Wheeled you and laid on your side, I cried and cried and at my signal, They stopped your heart and then you died."  Zauner's dreamlike voice flows into the second verse while playing a sweet rendition on the synthesizer. 


A part of the single series polyvinyl 4-track, 'Posing in Bondage' was released in November 2017, and a reproduced version appears on 'Jubilee’ - leave it to Zauner to produce a Lo-Fi-song, and recreate an edgier version. Her hauntingly beautiful voice lingers into a chorus, "Can you tell I've been posing, This way alone for hours?, Waiting for your affection,  Waiting for you." It is about craving attention for a certain someone, who is oblivious to such affection, and ultimately making you feel lonely. In addition, Zauner plays a vampy lonesome woman in her music video, rolling in with her hoverboard at an after-hours supermarket.

The Silver fox soprano star Michael Imperioli appears in the music video for 'Savage Good Boy,' next to him: a glamorous Japanese Breakfast, dripping in jewels, bedazzled pastel nails, and extravagant wardrobe. "I've got a five-year plan/ I've got a pension and six condos/ a billion-dollar bunker for two." The track is about a greedy man with a vulture personality who convinces a young woman to isolate herself with him in his bunker.  It is an ultra-modern folk-pop with harmonizing melodies and a powerful electric guitar riff.  As it turns out, the music video is a prequel to 'Posing in Bondage,'  Zauner's character ends up killing the rich man.

Japanese Breakfast’s 'Jubilee' album is perfect for your Summer playlist, and you can catch her live for the North American and UK tours 2021-2022.  Michelle also shares her joyous year with the release of her book, Crying in H Mart: A Memoir, and set to be a movie with MGM's Orion Pictures.


Image: Peter Ash Lee

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