Tuesday, October 15th, 2019

Shiina Ringo – Open Secret

Shiina Ringo for the next Bond theme, y/y?


Ryo Miyauchi: The peppy spy-film arrangements of “Open Secret” as well as its lyrics about seeking the justice hits the target a little too perfectly as the title track to a drama show billed as a comedy-mystery. But Ringo adds just enough of her signature touches, particularly those prickly vocal trills and breathy ad libs, for it to still check the right boxes of a good Shiina Ringo song.

Kylo Nocom: Chicken-scratch guitar and near-cacophonous symphonies suit Shiina Ringo’s equally gripping vocals. One forgets after so many orchestrated “art pop” records that strings can be used for more than dramatic atmospherics; “Open Secret” is the perfect antidote.

Kayla Beardslee: I always appreciate a good use of violins in pop and pop-adjacent music, and I love the energetic use of them here. Of course, Shiina Ringo throws in the rest of the orchestra as well: with so many instruments swooping in and out of the mix, the vocals end up feeling like the least important part of the production. But even with so much going on (that last, drawn out note, though!), “Open Secret” is maximalist in a self-aware, enjoyable way.

Will Adams: There’s a lot packed into “Open Secret”‘s three minute run-time, but amidst the violin trills and drum fills, Shiina Ringo manages to keep the train from flying off the rails.

Alfred Soto: It sounds like a refugee from the long ago and faraway mid-nineties: those spy thriller strings and the bonkers tempo could’ve come from the sixties revivalists. Shiina Ringo can handle these and more. 

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: The instrumental flourishes (that ending drum fill especially) are almost too ornate — the musical equivalent of riffing too long on a joke that’s played out. But Ringo’s vocal performance, flighty and charming, keeps the song from dancing out into jazzy nothingness. This is spy movie music, glamorous and ridiculous.

Reader average: [8] (2 votes)

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