Yasushi Yoshida
Little Grace


4.5
superb

Review

by Eli EMERITUS
June 2nd, 2011 | 12 replies | 5,482 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Profoundly beautiful and skillfully executed, "Little Grace" stands as a crowning achievement, and proof that Yasushi Yoshida is truly capable of meeting, and exceeding the bar raised by his contemporaries.

Yasushi Yoshida is like the middle child of the Japanese post-rock/neo-classical movement; always there but never really noticed. Never really managing to reach the same heights as his peers, who include World’s End Girlfriend (as well as Katsuhiko Maeda’s other projects) and Kashiwa Daisuke, Yoshida takes the foreground, producing equally unassuming music. It’s fitting in this sense, really, that an artist who so revels in minimalism is deprived of any sort of fame or profound attention. Regardless, Yoshida is just as competent (in some cases even more) as his limelight hoarding peers, as Little Grace, his second effort, so deftly displays.

Little Grace is simply an awe-inspiring, dramatic, and dynamic affair. Profoundly beautiful, it moves seamlessly and effortlessly between bouts of minimalism and climatic explosions. Rarely, however, does he ever lose control, or push beyond the boundaries of his “mellow” sound. It truly is a very quiet album, despite the obvious and veritable passions contained within. A lot of creative energy was expended to create Little Grace, a sentiment that becomes apparent almost immediately. While it does feature strictly instrumental songs sans the vocals, It’s impossible to tag as post-rock, as it features almost no “rock” tendencies. It’s a largely neo-classical driven affair, with very few modern day post-rock aesthetics.
Yoshida employs strings, piano, and guitar liberally, with little to no use of electronics. It’s much more organic this way, as much of the album has a much stripped down feel to it, making for a very intimate record. The violin, cello, and piano are especially used, creating very simple yet gorgeous harmonies. It is in this blissful simplicity that Little Grace finds its voice, as the subtle intertwining of instruments makes for an ingenious formula. Yoshida clearly feels comfortable in this intimacy, which is resonated when his more ambitious moments tend to come off as slightly contrived.

Aside from the sparse moments of inconsistency, every aspect of Little Grace is wholly enjoyable, immersible, and above all else, beautiful. Tracks like “Lullaby for Rainsongs” manage to awe with little effort, while others, such as “Thread Still,” feel more cumbersome, but still rather entrancing. The album is more than a sum of its parts, however, in that it is full of great songs, but is anchored by one cohesive, consistent sound. Yoshida composed these pieces to mesh perfectly together, and despite a couple of hiccups, he greatly succeeded.

Yasushi Yoshida deserves all the praise that his Japanese peers receive. His thoughtful and creative approach is something not typically heard in today’s instrumental music scene. Little Grace, because of this, manages to be one of the strongest, most inherently beautiful pieces of music to arise from scene, and is an absolutely essential listening experience for anyone even remotely interested in the genre.



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user ratings (18)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Xenophanes
Emeritus
June 2nd 2011



10593 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm sorry if it's apparent that I didn't spend a lot of time on this, but really, who's going to read it anyway hahaha.

This absolutely needed a review. Seriously, if this sounds like anything you may possibly enjoy, I urge you to check it out post-haste.

Tyrael
June 2nd 2011



20828 Comments


I'm sorry if it's apparent that I didn't spend a lot of time on this

It's not. Pos.

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
June 2nd 2011



6443 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sounds really interesting

Props on the review too.

Edit: it's brilliant!

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

Irving
Staff Reviewer
June 2nd 2011



7177 Comments


Ilu Cheno.

Digging: Ty Segall - Manipulator

Rev
June 2nd 2011



9409 Comments


Well if you like it it's probably worth checking out


Pos, man

balcaen
June 2nd 2011



3183 Comments


this is a good review. and people WILL read it, man. pretty sure a big chunk of sputnik regards our opinion pretty highly. as for me, anyone who namedrops Kashiwa Daisuke and mentions neo-classical in the same paragraph has got me wide-eyed.

NeutralThunder12
June 2nd 2011



8742 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

boy am I glad to see somebody else enjoying this, this album is amazing. Very similar to Daisuke or someone like that but a bit more straightforward, huge emphasis on building sweet melodies. You also did the album justice, excellent review.

Xenophanes
Emeritus
June 2nd 2011



10593 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks Neutral, and thanks to everyone else for your comments.



Seriously Neutral, we need to gang up on the userbase and force them to liek this.

Oceanus
June 2nd 2011



877 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is amazing.

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
June 3rd 2011



6443 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Really liking this. I think Grateful Goodbye's even better, maybe do a review of that too? ;)

crazyblinddude
June 4th 2011



3389 Comments


Oh shit someone else actually knows about this guy? Fucking sweet. Have a well deserved pos Xeno. I
haven't given this a spin in ever. Time to play it late night. So like right now.

Thane
June 13th 2011



2163 Comments


downloading this now cant wait to listen

good review dude



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