ALBUM REVIEW: ‘Jubilee’ by Japanese Breakfast

Japanese Breakfast released their third studio album, ‘Jubilee’ and it truly depicted an ‘80s pop era sound mixed with sentimental ballads. Indie rock musician and director, Michelle Zauner, crafted a unique approach where each song has a different level of emotion especially within the vocals and instrumentals. Zauner really got creative with this album where it ranged from a combination of electro pop, bubblegum pop and pop-ballad feel throughout these tracks.

“Be Sweet” starts off with a subtle drum and bass line instrumental and then beautifully transitions towards Zauner’s lead vocals. This track definitely gives off a similar vibe to “Rose Colored Boy” by Paramore, but a more mellow version due to the toned down bass. Japanese Breakfast captured the ‘80s pop scene perfectly throughout the electro pop instrumentals and vocal ranges.

Japanese Breakfast - Be Sweet (Official Video)

“Slide Tackle” has a great musical transition throughout the introduction where it has a mix of a drum and bassline instrumentals. While there is also a techno tempo in the background, it later transitions to a smooth saxophone solo. There are various instrumentals in this track, but they go so well with Zauner’s soprano vocals where you can just hear the passion in her voice.

Japanese Breakfast - Slide Tackle

“Tactics” exemplified a classical ballad instrumental introduction with violins and strings, and then beautifully transitions towards pop synthesizers. This track reminded me of “Norman F***ing Rockwell” by Lana Del Rey because of the orchestra introduction plus the musical transitions, both Del Rey and Zauner have a phenomenal vocal range that can’t be forgotten. “Tactics” exemplified the formality of the orchestra instrumentals of violins and strings giving a great combination all in one track.

“Posing for Cars” was a track that stood out the most despite it being the longest one as well. This 6 minute and 39 second song started off with echoing vocals accompanied with an acoustic guitar. The musical transition was unexpected, but also an amazing asset because it correlated so well with electric riff instrumentals and the bass. “Posing for Cars” feels like you’re in a coming-of-age movie scene where realization and emotions hit you all at once. This track demonstrated Michelle Zauner’s vocals beautifully.

Overall, ‘Jubilee’ had outstanding musical transitions, a variety of instrumentals and delivered a complexity of emotions and was complete work of art.