single review: Tokyo Jihen “Erabarezaru Kokumin”

Speaking of something new, did you hear the news that Tokyo Jihen is reuniting? Um… excuse me! This is amazing!

Tokyo Jihen is a five-piece rock/jazz band consisting of five incredible talents, including rock soloist Shiina Ringo, whose music carries a distinct but artfully crafted sound. However, in 2012, Tokyo Jihen decided to part ways and proceeded to do their own individual endeavors. Color-bar me surprised when I find out that they’re reuniting with a new song and a tour! Is this a miracle after nearly 8 good long years? Perhaps. That being said, is their new song of a lower class than some of their greatest hits, or will it reach first class status? Read on!

Tokyo Jihen promoting Erabarezaru Kokumin

Erabarezaru Kokumin
The Lower Classes

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

With an overlaying clap-beat and piano holds, bursting into a funky jam with staccato-like vocal delivery in certain parts, “Erabarezaru Kokumin” is Tokyo Jihen at their best, delivering a song that has ‘sa_i_ta’ feels from their truly awesome ‘color bars’ mini-album. In this track, it’s not only Shiina singing, as her teammates provide vocals on their fronts; it’s a song that accentuates the talents of all the members, and rightfully so, as Tokyo Jihen consists of high-class musicians. The song explodes into a symphony, a mesh of their instruments, leading us into the surreal makings of a Tokyo Jihen song. It feels fresh; it feels quintessentially Tokyo Jihen; it feels like they never left. This is a return to form and is not as low class as its name intends.


What a delightful surprise to the new year… who knew they’d be coming back?! If this surprise release is any indication of what’s coming up for any new material for this reunion, then I have no further words.

I can’t recommend Tokyo Jihen further. This song has everything that I’ve loved from the band and more, and it was a pleasant trip back to many years before when I was continuously excited for every new release until they disbanded. Give this track a listen; you’re not too low class to try.

MUST-LISTEN: 選ばれざる国民

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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