We Had Joy, We Had Fun, Or Did We?

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If you do something well, maybe you can’t do too much of it. But if anyone is going to push that envelope, it’s Pizzicato Five. We’re snide, goofy, funny and hip. And we know it. Sounding like something you stumble across while playing with your grandfather’s short-wave radio (still), the Japanese ’50s-’70s kitschophiles go at it with a familiar tongue-in-cheek gusto. With a martini glass of crazy spoken word and jet-set shallowness, The International Playboy & Playgirl Record is in a time warp, but at least it’s all its own. Without standing out, it fits into a discography that’s more like an ongoing series (I’m sure Ian Fleming predicted P5 in the adventures of 007) than an evolution. Like an Austin Powers who couldn’t pull out of his own velvet-lined outdatedness if he tried (it’s just too damn comfy), P5 spins in its own anachronistic lounge satellite just outside of our time. Like whatshisname says in his sunscreen song: In the future, we’ll look back and imagine that things were better somehow. Maybe they weren’t, but at least this retromanic dreaming is danceable, listenable and even comic, in all its naive nods toward a decadence which may or may not have existed. Then again, who really cares?

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