Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Gomenasai (2005) – t.A.T.u.

There are many things wrong with Russian pseudo-lesbians, brought together by a former child psychologist/marketing executive-turned-record producer, whose voices are probably pitch-corrected, singing English words they might not understand, in a song which features the Japanese word for “I’m sorry” as the chorus’ refrain, the title of which incorrectly combines two words (“gomen nasai”) into one. Yet, paradoxically, what seems so wrong, is also so, so right. Throw in the fact that Richard Carpenter (yes, of The Carpenters) arranged the string section, and you have the perfect guilty pleasure. Emphasis on guilty. Emphasis on pleasure. “Gomensai” is an aural éclair to indulge in the privacy of secret parlors.

An elegiac melody wafts about on a breeze of piano and pathos in a performance that is quintessentially voice recital repertoire—emotionally immature but tenderly executed. Employing tropes and turns of metaphorical phrase, Julia Volkova and Lena Katina realize in hindsight that their misgivings about a forbidden relationship were amiss. The girls’ Russian accents further imbue the mea culpa with a sympathetic vulnerability, as if they are victims of cultural repression.

In its guilelessness, “Gomenasai” revisits that alcove in the heart discovered long ago in an auditorium on closing night at the high school musical. In fact, the whole production would be downright poignant were we convinced Julia and Lena meant it.

  • Listen to "Gomenasai" and purchase from iTunes Music Store.
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