Because You are You

By MusicNerd February 19, 2009



PWRFL Power is a gimmick. Song writer Kazutaka Normura adopts a persona of an immigrant singing sweetly off key in broken english and plays stripped down, guitar only compositions. When Kaz mangles English with wide eyed abandon he reveals the delicate compromise of language: Words mean what we say they mean because we say so. "Its ok to be yourself" he sings, "because you are you"

But remember that scene in Borat where he makes a joke about his retarded brother breaking out of his cage and raping his sister? Awkward. Some of it is the pure shock of the joke but the real discomfort comes from its disconnect with Borat's satirical purpose. How does the retard joke explore America's perception of the third world and lack of self reflection? (It doesn't.) PWRFL Power can fall into the same trap and sometimes his feigned naivete goes over the top, and he too becomes a parody of a parody.

Of course, this is rock n' roll not your language and cognition seminar paper and it's hard to punish him too much for deviating from his thesis.

Sometimes PWRFL Power is just funny and sweet like on "Alma" where he struggles bluntly to express his desire for an unattractive girl: "Your step-dad has millions of debt but thats ok because my dad has some buildings I can have" Its this side of him that really shines in the live setting as his deliberate shitchk allows him to build his character through banter, turning his thesis into catchy pop.

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