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Hiroshima retreats to safety

Providence
Providence
By Hiroshima

Epic Records: 1992

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This review first appeared in the October 9, 1992 issue of the North County Blade-Citizen (now North County Times).

At one time, Hiroshima lent legitimacy to the "smooth jazz" movement. While David Sanborn and Kenny G were putting out glorified Muzak, Hiroshima's brand of jazz-influenced pop had an edge to it, a sense of experimentation and risk-taking.

To judge by the band's new album, "Providence," those days are gone. The Japanese instrumentation remains, but the synthesis of Japanese and Western melodic structures – which made Hiroshima's music so interesting – is missing.

Hiroshima has fallen back into the pack, just another faceless band putting out safe, timid music. To be sure, the sweeping melodies, rich instrumentation and multi-layered harmonies are there, laid down over a funky backbeat. It all sounds nice; it's just that it also all sounds the same.