65. Pizzicato Five, The Sound of Music by Pizzicato Five (Matador, 1995)

Here's a concept you'll either love or despise: Japanese studiomeisters pillage a selective assortment of decidedly American sounds (Motown, bubblegum, Bacharach and chamber pop, for starters) and rev it up and push it way past the postmodern mark until it mutates into something that often resembles a TV game show theme song. And it's all mostly sung in Japanese by elusive diva Maki Nomiya. Sounds obnoxious, huh? Actually, it's pretty canny the way P5 occasionally spins gold out of so much sugar. This American compilation glosses on the best bits of their early-mid '90s homeland releases. Songs like "Good!", "Airplane" and "Sophisticated Catchy" sound strangely familiar as they almost defy categorization, favoring texture and mood over literate meaning. Thankfully, all the do, do, do's aren't lost in translation.