Fancy stuff optional

On his major label debut Sunestyle, Suneo Hair set out to reaffirm the breadth of his indie singer-songwriter roots.

He jumped from style to style — lo-fi, 70s SoCal, big guitars — but in the end, Sunestyle didn’t really possess anything that stayed with a listener long after it ended.

Suneo Hair’s second album, a watercolor, is less ambitious than its predecessor, and it works a lot better.

Instead of messing around with studio effects or switching styles on each track, Suneo Hair sticks to the basics — a rock quartet and a song.

The psychedelic synthesizer effects at the start of “Nobita Tape” are about as weird as the album gets — the rest of the album is straight-forward.

The six-note guitar hook that weaves its way throughout “Pinto” couldn’t get any simpler. The funky drummer beat, chiming guitars and string arrangement on “Aoi Sora” fit well together.

“New Town e Tsutzuku Michi” doesn’t attempt to hide its affinity to the Beatles, while the arrangement on “Uchiagehanabi” could best be described as pointillistic.

Perhaps the most fitting testament to Suneo Hair’s songwriting ability is in “Owari ne”, a stripped-down, slowed-down reprise of the album’s second single, “Uguisu”.

“Uguisu” is a no nonsense rocker — verse-chorus-verse, with which a pretty memorable chorus. But without the trappings of a fast tempo and a backing band, “Owari ne” reveals the song to have a versatile melody.

It sounds as fitting in one setting as it does in another.

Sunestyle may have established Suneo Hair’s credentials as far as ability is concerned, but a watercolor demonstrates his talent.

He’s a fine songwriter, and he doesn’t need much fancy work to prove it.