Tomiko Van - FAREWELL

review - 01.02.2010 08:50

A calm album for thoughtful hours.

The album FAREWELL is - though hard to believe but true - the very first release from Tomiko Van’s solo career. Previously, she was the voice of the trio Do As Infinity. As they disbanded for the first time, she jumped at the chance for a solo career.

The first tracks quickly lay the foundation for the musical direction of the CD: namely, a very quiet and calm one. The artist certainly tried to create a bit variety on this album, for example through the use of Chinese erhu in farewell and the addition of some hip-hop effects in Essence, but the general direction remains in the calm tempo and the balladic character of the songs. Tomiko's occasional falsetto singing is convincing, and the atmospheric string and piano arrangements which are featured in almost every song are rather soothing. The jazzy Essence stands out a bit with its hip-hop elements, dark background mood and distorted electric guitar solo. After the calm and sad horoscope is complacence, another track worth noting. The sound of a ticking clock opens the song, and after that an alienated but thoughtful melody joins in and takes turns in the refrain with the virtually overpowering electric instruments. The song is rounded up with a dynamic guitar solo.

In the second half of the album, there are more varied songs. nue no naku yoru is one of them; it fascinates, not only with its wonderful intro, but also through the lively feeling and its flute melodies. The kitschy song HOLY PLANET is interesting with its Christmas flair. Then there is the somewhat old fashioned ballad Before Sunset, but the retro style of that the song adds a pretty sensitive touch, making it a winning track. The bonus track A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes should be very familiar. It has a lot of parallels with one of the songs from the Walt Disney classic, “Cinderella.”

This album is the ideal choice when you want to retreat from the world for an hour and get caught in a calm, emotional and thoughtful sphere. For fans of faster rhythm, FAREWELL won't be interesting because quick beats are very, very rare. However, this disc offers solid ballads that are perfect for the older generation.
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