No top songs.


Zard were theoretically a group, but aside from lead vocalist Izumi Sakai, the members were in constant rotation. Fairly quickly, Zard became synonymous with Sakai herself, and with the success that she brought to the effort, nobody tried to change that. After Sakai's death in 2007, compilations were thrown together hastily in a mix of true memorials and profiteering. Soffio di Vento collects a fair number of Sakai's better-known pieces, all strictly in the mold of classic J-pop: upbeat vocals, the occasional electric guitar flight, highly engineered backing tracks. Songs like "Hitori Ga Suki" aren't that far away from American '80s pop balladry, but they're highly successful with their intent -- expressions of love and heartbreak. These songs focus in instrumentally and vocally with unerring aim and formulaic choruses. Sakai was one of the best of the form, and this album is a fair introduction to both the star and to the genre in its most typical (stereotypical?) form. Indie fans should beware, but the curious newcomer to J-pop will find a good, basic introduction here. ~ Adam Greenberg, Rovi

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