Amber Bain, who is known by her stage name The Japanese House, has made a triumphant return after a two-year hiatus with her highly anticipated sophomore album, In The End It Always Does. This new album showcases a remarkable evolution in her sound since her debut in 2019 with Good at Falling, earning widespread critical praise.
Bain’s unique blend of dream-pop and synth-pop continues to captivate listeners, with her use of autotune and layered vocal harmonies creating an ethereal and haunting atmosphere throughout the album. The production on the album, which was also done by Bain herself, is exceptional, with each track being carefully crafted and thoughtfully arranged, showcasing her talents as both a songwriter and producer.
In The End It Always Does explores themes of love, loss, and self-discovery, with deeply personal lyrics that feel both vulnerable and relatable. The album is a cohesive and impressive body of work that cements The Japanese House as one of the most exciting and innovative artists in the music industry today. Fans and critics alike are sure to be pleased with this new addition to her discography.
The album kicks off with the intro track “Spot Dog,” which is a reworking of the theme from 101 Dalmatians. The use of strings and piano creates a dream-like feel, transporting listeners to another world. Moving on to Touching Yourself, the album takes a more sultry and vulnerable turn, showcasing Matty Healy’s production talents with its hooky, catchy chorus. The Japanese House’s rhythm section is powerful and melodic, making for a perfect accompaniment to the verses.
Moving on to “Touching Yourself,” she has further demonstrated her ability to create a sound that is both emotional and powerful. The song is a perfect representation of the kind of music fans can expect from her new album, which promises to be a remarkable body of work.
The album’s second single, “Sad To Breathe,” is a poignant exploration of heartbreak and the pain of losing someone. Bain’s emotive vocals are supported by a twinkling piano melody that builds into a lively, acoustic sound, adding depth and texture to the track.
Bain’s attention to detail and willingness to experiment is reflected in the evolution of “Sad To Breathe” from an electronic track to a primarily acoustic song, resulting in a standout track that showcases her versatility and musical prowess.
The slower, slightly jazzy track “Over There” is a meditative reflection on lost love, with poignant and heart-wrenching lyrics that are delivered with hauntingly beautiful vocals. However, one track that stands out above the rest is “Morning Pages“. The addition of MUNA’s vocals only heightens the emotional power of the song, creating a perfect blend of voices that is sure to leave a lasting impact on listeners.
The lead single, “Boyhood“, may be a contrast in sound to some of the other songs on the album, but the melancholy underneath the surface is present throughout. The use of synths and pulsating beats creates a sombre atmosphere, perfectly complementing the honest and touching lyrics.
The record boasts a series of standout tracks, with “Indexical Reminder Of A Morning Well Spent” being one of the most impressive. The instrumentation of the track is particularly noteworthy, with the acoustic guitar serving as the foundation for the song’s ethereal sound. The melancholic melody is reminiscent of the Laurel Canyon sound, while the dreamy vocals add a certain level of introspection to the overall atmosphere of the music.
The album is a testament to The Japanese House’s artistic growth and maturity, with “Sunshine Baby” being a particularly noteworthy retrospective song about a relationship. The lyrics are introspective and honest, with a chorus that serves as a positive submission to the end of the relationship.
Closing the album is the track “One for sorrow, two for Joni Jones,” which is possibly the most devastating song on the album. The emotions that went into the making of this track are palpable, and listeners can truly feel the pain and heartbreak of the artist.
In The End It Always Does is a truly captivating and immersive listening experience, showcasing The Japanese House’s unique style and remarkable talent. The album is a bold and unapologetic expression of the artist’s personal experiences, delivered through deeply introspective lyrics and an experimental soundscape. Every track is imbued with raw emotion and vulnerability, making it a truly remarkable body of work.
Review By James Edmond