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JAPAN BEAT
Dreams Come True


Virgin/Toshiba EMI

Much has been made of J-pop super trio Dreams Come True and their determined attempt to conquer the West. A just-released English remix of their 1999 album The Monster, represents their second all-English outing following 1998's Sing or Die. Clearly, with The Monster - universal mix, the band has not given up on their dream. The album is slated for release in the US in the fall.

But amid all the media hype painting DCT as J-pop's great crossover hope, the group's immense musical abilities seem to have been forgotten. All it takes is one listen to The Monster - universal mix, to remind you of how unforgettable a singer Miwa Yoshida really is.

Recent contenders like teen idol Hikaru Utada or this year's flavor of the month, retro rock unit Love Psychedelico - who both also sing competently in English - fall by the wayside when compared with Yoshida's range and depth of expression. While, with heroes like Ella Fitzgerald, she sounds most comfortable doing jazz-influenced numbers such as "See You In My Dreams," Yoshida doesn't hesitate on The Monster - universal mix to take a stab at contemporary breakbeats or trip hop. Really, the only Japanese singer around to match her ability and versatility would have to be UA.

Twelve years since Yoshida joined with producer/bassist Masato Nakamura and keyboardist Takahiro Nishikawa to form Dreams Comes True, the band's quest for "universal" popularity, despite their success in Asia, remains a pipe dream. But that's no reason to dismiss them. Yoshida takes the long-term view. Decades after the Hikaru Utadas of the world have fallen by the wayside, Yoshida will be around to, she says, "stand up at the age of 70 or 80 and move people with my voice."

The Monster - universal mix is available on Virgin/Toshiba EMI.


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