Soul Flower Union: Odore! Odorasarerumae ni
Osaka’s Soul Flower Union are celebrating 20 years as a band and this new mini-album commemorates that achievement. But is it really a mini-album? Time moves differently in the Soul Flower universe and this “mini-album” clocks in at almost an hour which is longer than many full-length albums.
The title track is the only new song by SFU leader Takashi Nakagawa and there are three versions of it here including a ‘Stand Against Racism Dub Mix’ and an instrumental. There is also a studio recording of ‘Anpanman no March’ from the children’s television series which features vocal and accordion by Charan-Po-Rantan. The rest of the “mini-album” comprises seven live recordings from various shows around Japan between 2009 and 2013.
The song ‘Odore! Odorasarerumae ni’ (‘Dance before you are forced to dance!’) is unexceptional by Nakagawa’s high standards. The live songs, however, are the most interesting part of this release. SFU have always excelled as a live band and it might have been a better idea to have promoted this as a live album with just one take of the title song added as a bonus track. The dub mix version by Naoyuki Uchida adds little and the instrumental is just padding. Among the best of the live tracks is ‘Henoko Bushi’, Nakagawa’s Okinawan-style song which is a timely reminder of the ongoing problems with the American military bases on Okinawa.
Odore! Odorasarerumae ni is released on 26th June by Soul Flower Union’s own label BM tunes. The band will be touring Japan in June to promote the new release and they play Nagoya (14th), Osaka (16th), Tokyo (22nd) and Sendai (24th).