[3 March 2008]
Kazutaka Nomura, a.k.a. PWRFL Power, is one of a (thankfully) growing number of singer-songwriters who have a much better sense of humor than their predictably po-faced peers. However, even similarly saucy artists like the Moldy Peaches lack a pedigree as impressive as Nomura’s. Twenty-four-year-old Nomura has been studying classical and jazz guitar since age 13, and it shows: his songs are crammed with complex chord progressions and speedy arpeggios. Unfortunately, his lyrics occasionally feel like placeholders in between his riffs. It doesn’t help matters that he’s not much of a singer. His best songs are anecdotal: he pokes fun at Asian stereotypes (“Let Me Teach You How to Hold Chopsticks”), compulsively texts potential love interests (“Soft Boy,” “Banana Song”), and threatens to throws fruit at mean people (“Tomato Song”). This self-titled debut shows more promise than power, but I’d still like to hear more.