The New Japanese Breakfast Album Will Make You Dance, Cry, and Sing Along in Just Under 40 Minutes

The New Japanese Breakfast Album Will Make You Dance, Cry, and Sing Along in Just Under 40 Minutes

Earlier this year, rising star in the indie world, Michelle Zauner, aka Japanese Breakfast, released her third studio album, Jubilee. The record is a 10-track, 37-minute experience packed full to the brim with personality and creativity.

The album begins with a track titled “Paprika,” an incredibly fun, sunny song with a bright and colorful instrumental. The diverse musical pallet of this track includes a synth intro, lush orchestration, and a marching band beat to tie the whole thing together. Zauner’s high pitched vocals float on top of the music with elegance, and there’s almost an endearing and adorable quality to her voice combined with the bounciness of the music. Lyrically this track is an introspective take on the fame and popularity that Zauner experienced after the success of her previous albums. 

Track number two, “Be Sweet,” features a groovy 80’s inspired synth-pop instrumental and lyrics about wanting to reconnect with an ex-lover. The beat is sexy and danceable, with catchy and confident vocal melodies on top of a jangly guitar and hypnotic keyboards. “Be sweet to me baby,” she sings during the chorus, encouraging her man to make up for whatever it is he did to upset her so they can get back together already. It’s catchy, quirky, and irresistibly fun. What’s not to love?

Also, don’t miss the backend of this record. This is where Zauner shows that not only can she pen some excellent, catchy indie pop tunes, but fantastic slow jams as well. Look no further than the incredible, cathartic, chamber-influenced ballad, “Tactics.” It’s a bittersweet tale of heartbreak, in which the protagonist loves a person but knows it would be healthier for both of them if she moved away from them. Zauner’s vocals take on a much more gentle tone on this track, all set over layers upon layers of strings playing gorgeous melodies. It’s truly a song that is beautiful beyond words.

The closing track, “Posing for Cars,” is a singer/songwriter’s take on post-rock. It begins with nothing more than soft, clean guitar playing and quiet, vulnerable vocals from Zauner. The track then slowly builds up, adding drums and bass, the prominent use of a mellotron, and at the very end, a long, emotional, distorted guitar solo that reaches an almost shoegaze level of ethereal atmosphere by creating a noisy wall of sound. The harsh yet beautiful quality of this solo works perfectly on top of the soft, gentle instrumental, creating a very memorable contrast to end the record on.

This album will take its listeners on a fun-filled journey through a diverse range of styles, lush and layered instrumentation, quirky and sincere lyrics, and various emotions depending on which song you’re hearing. If you’re a fan of pop, rock, or indie music, definitely do not miss this experience.

Listen to “Be Sweet” here.