Emi Fujita’s Camomile Blend is an easy-listening CD filled with jazzy reinterpretations of popular hits and folk tunes. It’s not exactly a refreshing listen, as the arrangement by the Norwegian group Vamp rely a little too much on standard, formulaic use of those darned flutes and pipes and tin whistle that has been overused a zillion times ever since James Horner unleashed a whole new generation of Celtic muzak for plebeians in the soundtrack of Titanic and everyone else hops on the bandwagon.
Still, as pleasant as it is formulaic, there’s a charm to Ms Fujita’s gentle rendition of Angel Voices Calling and Father by Thy Hand/Ledsag os Herre. On the other end, unnecessary and unimaginative versions of First of May and Home of the Range are the lows when it comes to annoying muzak. It is worth mentioning that the murder of True Colors and the horrific jazzification of The Corrs’s Runaway are just painful to listen to.
But, everything will still be okay if Emi Fujita hasn’t insisted on singing English in a very heavy Japanese accent… Not to sound catty or anything, but I don’t find accented English nice or “exotic” in any way. Won’t it be better if she had sung the songs in Japanese? That may be some much needed twist in this lackluster and unoriginal CD.