Beautiful is Fantastic Plastic Machine”s third album. The brainchild of DJ/composer/musician/radio personality/magazine editor Tomoyuki Tanaka, is billed as “the entertainment center or the future” by his record label, Emperor Norton. Well, if the future of entertainment is bland, totally forgettable music that can double as Muzak, then they”re dead right.

Paul Wong
Benjamin Bagby and Ping Chong are definitely on another level.<br><br>Courtesy of UMS

The music isn”t bad. It”s very listenable. Tanaka combines elements of jazz, J-Pop, easy listening, lounge, classical, and electronica to form what could be an interesting blend, but the easy listening elements tend to drown out the rest, rendering it no more than background music.

For example, the third track, “Paragon” is a decent mix of a jazzy piano riff, be-bop female vocals and standard remix techniques that become absolutely inoffensive and undistinguishable from the rest of the CD.

If you”re interested in picking up some Muzak, this would be a decent one to get, but if you”re interested in something that you can actively listen to, don”t waste your time searching for this album.

Grade: C

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