Fragile - Phantom. 2006 Japan

Fragile - Phantom. 2006 VEGA Music (CD)

Fragile are a long running fusion band from Japan, and Phantom is my first encounter with the group, a mere decade after its initial release. Fragile are from the modern school of Japanese fusion, where the technical ability is astounding, and the compositions are strictly a foundation to support that. Rather than the other way around, which would be my preference. It's a tough genre to break new ground, as many before them have tread similar paths with varying results. So it was with much surprise that the opening two tracks caught my attention. Indeed this is inventive fusion, and as expected, the playing is exemplary, in particular the guitarist. However, as the disc continues on, ear fatigue begins to set in. And despite the band's best attempts at lightening the mood with intervals, one begins to look for a bit more depth in the songwriting department. Experience tells me that albums like Phantom are best heard in snippets to best appreciate. It seems an EP length would serve them better. In any case, this one rises near the top for an album such as this. If bands like Prism, Side Steps, and Exhivision get your heart started, then it would appear Fragile should go straight to your buy/want list. At least based on the strength of Phantom.

This is a very obscure CD that I added to Discogs myself a few months back. I remain the sole owner and contributor.

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