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"Shishousetsu" Album Cover

SHO-CO-REVIEW 10: Shishousetsu

Shishousetsu, released August 26, 1998, was Shoko Suzuki’s first album under her record contract with Warner Music Japan, with whom she signed after leaving Epic/Sony Records in 1997. Like her previous two albums there is an appreciable rock and roll influence; however, this is balanced with orchestrated pop, ballads and even a country number, making for a fairly diverse album (and more-or-less setting the pattern for many of Shoko’s future releases, which all tend to have a fair bit of diversity to them).

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"Candy Apple Red" Album Cover

SHO-CO-REVIEW 9: Candy Apple Red

Candy Apple Red, Shoko Suzuki’s final album recorded for Epic/Sony Records, was released on March 1, 1997. In hindsight, Shoko leaving her record company seemed to be a foregone conclusion — the record company wasn’t happy with Snapshots, and Shoko presumably wasn’t happy with how they handled her career after Hourglass.

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"Snapshots" Album Cover

SHO-CO-REVIEW 8: Snapshots

Snapshots, released June 21, 1995, is generally considered the album where Shoko Suzuki’s music went rock. Of course, this isn’t something on the scale of Dylan going electric, as Shoko had recorded rock songs as far back as her first album…and she would continue to showcase pop songs and ballads on her future works.

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"RadioGenic" Album Cover

SHO-CO-REVIEW 6: RadioGenic

I’ve teased about this album a bit in my previous reviews; namely, that some serious stuff went down during this period in Shoko Suzuki’s career. In my review for Hourglass, I wrote that album was a bit of a turning point for Shoko musically, in that it was her first record with Hiroaki Sugawara and that you could hear traces of where her music would end up going.

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"Hourglass" Album Cover

SHO-CO-REVIEW 5: Hourglass

Hourglass, released on December 1, 1991, is a fairly important record in Shoko Suzuki’s career. First and foremost, it is the first record where she collaborated with Hiroaki Sugawara, who would play a key role in Shoko’s musical development over the next several years — eventually helping Shoko move away from the ballad/light pop style of her early work into a more ’60s pop/rock-based sound.

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"Kaze no Tobira" Album Cover

SHO-CO-REVIEW 3: Kaze no Tobira

Weclome back to my ongoing series of Shoko Suzuki album reviews! This article concerns Shoko Suzuki’s third album, Kaze no Tobira, released March 1, 1990. Shoko’s previous album, Mizu no Kanmuri, featured a song that was used as an anime tie-in, which undoubtedly brought Shoko’s music to a wider audience; her profile would be further boosted with this album’s first single, “Station Wagon,” which was used as the theme music to the 1989 film adaptation of Banana Yoshimoto’s novel, Kitchen.

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"Viridian" Album Cover

SHO-CO-REVIEW 1: Viridian

I’m gonna do something a little bit different here. Generally speaking, with my past music reviews it’s just little blurbs here and there, essentially saying “This is good!” Now – for the time being – I’m going to focus on one artist’s discography, reviewing one album at a time, with the reviews spread out over a number of weeks.

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