Anna Takeuchi discovers the power of positive pop

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Nobody came out of 2020 feeling particularly cheery, even the most upbeat of Japan’s pop acts. For Anna Takeuchi, however, all that pandemic-era uncertainty soon turned into artistic clarity.

She resolved to make her guitar-based pop “more” — more upbeat, more optimistic, more aggressively cheerful. The result is “Tickets,” Takeuchi’s second full-length album, which was released via Teichiku Music last month. It’s a set of 13 deliriously delightful tunes that find the young creator dabbling in gospel vocals, skittering beats and synth melodies. Plenty of J-pop artists make happy music, but few elevate their craft into a full-blown production like Takeuchi does across this collection.

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