Quiet Life is the album that transformed Japan from past-tense glam rockers into futuristic synth popsters, though they'd been leaning in that direction for a while. It's also a solid proto-New Romantic synthesizer record, enhanced by Mick Karn's superb fretless bass work and David Sylvian's smooth, sneering vocals spread over pop hits like the title track and "Fall in Love with Me."
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Performance CreditsJapan Primary Artist
Mick Karn Bass,Saxophone,Background Vocals
Richard Barbieri Synthesizer,Keyboards
Rob Dean Guitar
Martyn Ford Conductor
Steve Jansen Percussion,Drums
David Sylvian Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals
Technical CreditsMick Karn Saxophone Arrangement
Lou Reed Composer
Ann Odell Orchestral Arrangements
Colin Fairley Engineer
John Punter Producer,Remixing
David Sylvian Composer
Keith Bessey Engineer
Fin Costello Concept
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Quiet Life [Bonus Tracks] based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Japan gave themselves a striking image and sonic overhaul with their third album. Out was the raucous, glam punk assault of their first two albums, in was sleek, Roxy Music-inspired disco-pop-funk that set them on the path to establishing their own sound and style that would eventually break free from its influences. Quiet Life is a thrilling listen, as exciting as the Adolescent Sex album, but in entirely different ways. David Sylvian's voice had changed drastically too: instead of a sneering, angular wail, he had assumed a Ferry-esque croon and laid-back style that would eventually become his signature. Mick Karn proved to be just as audacious: his new found adoration of the fretless bass would transform Japan's music and push it into entirely new directions, making it sleeker, funkier and delightfully playful. The excellent, streamlined and futurist rhythms of the title track banish all memories of the Japan of yore, and remains one of their greatest acheivements. A marvellous single, it struts, crackles and hits all the right spots and then some. Just to prove this is no fluke, the terrific 'Fall in Love With Me' goes to prove that the new Japan were here to stay. 'Halloween' and 'In Vogue' are further examples of their new found ability to craft peerless future pop, but Japan seemed discontent to merely stop there. The lush, grandiose balladry of 'Despair' and 'The Other Side of Life' display a darker, lusher and mature side to the group. Indeed, the latter could very well have been a 70's Bond theme, with its swirling strings, languid guitar strains and melodramatic crescendos. Sylvian's voice still betrays his earlier approach in places, ther'es an unfortunate tendency to lapse into an almost oily sneer on the otherwise beautiful 'The Other Side of Life', but aside from that, this is an utterly confident, breathtaking album, which also boasts a splendid cover of the Velvet Underground's 'All Tomorrow's Parties'.