Finding Myself Again
by Karla Ash
There’s an unmistakably ‘80s vibe to Arlene Hattori’s Finding Myself Again that is not as clearly defined as with young retro acts like Franz Ferdinand, VHS or Beta, and the Killers. The song “Give It Up,” for example, is a ‘80s throwback but what artist is it reminiscent of? The guitars are slightly funky, and Hattori sings the repetitive lyrics in a colorless yet cute fashion. She is conjuring the spirits from the ‘80s, without a doubt, however, which ones? The sense of déjà vu that the listener will get from Finding Myself Again is as mysterious as it is exciting. For those old enough to remember, “Give It Up” would’ve slotted nicely on Seattle’s early ‘80s New Wave radio station, 96.5 KYYX. But then again Hattori is actually from that time period. This is no bandwagon jumper; Hattori is a veteran of the genre, and Finding Myself Again explores her mastery of a musical style that is once again the flavor of suburban youth.
These are friendly, toe-tapping pop songs that are innocent without being cheesy. Guitars jangle with a light, breezy touch, and Hattori’s vocals have tremendous range, leaping from the bounciness of “Give It Up” to higher levels of soul on “Right Thing” and “Frustrated Maryann,” which recalls the mood-weaving moments of the Smiths and the Ocean Blue.
Finding Myself Again distinguishes itself from other albums by current female singer/songwriters by having a good heart and old-school rhythms that provide tasty nostalgia.
Find out more about Arlene Hattori at her website, http://www.arlenehattori.com.