Monday, February 17th, 2020

Daoko – Otogi No Machi

This time, with an assist from Nariaki Obukuro…


Thomas Inskeep: 1990 hip-house energy rules, no matter what the year.

Edward Okulicz: Here’s a chilled, almost hip, almost house track, and Daoko has rhythm and presence. The verses set this up nicely, but the mantra-like chorus is cool the first time and then feels like running on the spot thereafter. 

Ian Mathers: At first the chorus seemed a bit of a let down; after the sturdily banging beginning, it seemed to promise a bit of an explosion, but just doubled down on the initial pulse in a pretty methodical way. But then it just kept going, and like a rake gag eventually the repetition became its own virtue. There was a moment there where I thought maybe the rest of the song would just be those four lines repeated over and over, and honestly by that point I would have been into it.

Brad Shoup: The dropped-and-dubbed chorus at the end arrests a perfectly good late-night dance-pop vibe, an ode to entering a big city’s bloodstream.

Ryo Miyauchi: Daoko remains a fascinating pop chameleon, with her established style adapting seamlessly to Kenshi Yonezu’s pensive ballads, MIYAVI’s slap-guitar solos and now Nariyaki Obukuro’s blend of R&B and electro-house. Despite the mellow tempo, she maintains her own restless rhythm in her verses, which emphasize the joys of rhyme over concrete meaning. If anything, the smoothness inspires her to flex some edge, allowing more room for her signature whisper raps to land sharper and more stylish.

Will Adams: The sharp percussive opening reminded me of any Disclosure song, but the proceedings aren’t too far from that either. It’s strobing dancepop that entices you with its coolness, to the point where you’re not sure whether to nod your head casually or fully get down.

Kylo Nocom: Another tasteful entry in hip-house that, surprisingly, has enough going on (the guitar picking near the end, for one) to make sure tastefulness isn’t all it has going for it.

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