For Fans of Steely Dan — Shintaro Sakamoto

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Formally leader of Japan’s Yura Yura Teikoku, Shintaro Sakamoto has just released his first solo album on Other Music Recordings called How To Live With A Phantom. Interesting that it’s his first, because Yura Yura Teikoku have been cranking out albums steadily since 1992. iTunes has a couple of their albums, too, if you’re interested.

The first thing you may notice about Sakamoto‘s new album is it’s resemblance to Steely Dan. I know it hasn’t escaped the attention of Chris Douridas, who played both artists back to back a couple of weeks ago.

Lighter and more whimsical, Sakamoto‘s music fits somewhere between the upstroke of West African highlife and retro pop of Pizzicato Five with those soulful background vocals of The Dan.

Shintaro Sakamoto – In A Phantom Mood by Other Music Recording Co

A welcome departure from his previous group, as they tended to waver between indie rock and experimental pop.

This is an album you could give your parents. In fact, I just left a copy with my dad, who is a huge Steely Dan fan. It sits prominently in my Top Ten of 2012… so far.