The pursuit of perfection in music tends to have some sort of pull or draw, an audience for whom the attempt is reason enough to tune in. Tendre (Taro Kawahara) appeals to those kinds of listeners, an artist who has long aimed for the immaculate in his music; for tracks that are fitted together with an exceptional attention to detail, from their hooks and songwriting to their instrumental segues and Kawahara’s belted croons. When Tendre doesn’t quite get his perfective strive right (like, for instance, on much of 2021’s Imagine), his tunes tend to not just feel off but fall totally flat – but when he succeeds, as on 2020’s Life Less Lonely, the uplift is inescapable. In those moments Kawahara can find himself responsible for some of the finest tunes in contemporary Japanese R&B and neo-soul – and Prismatics is a return to that kind of form. Everything here seems exquisitely wired for satisfaction; proof that when Kawahara does pull it all off, there are few pop experiences quite like him.
Listen to “Fantasy” below.