Review Summary: Absolutely breathtaking...5 of 5 thought this review was well written
Let's start by making a confession: I don't know anything about the Japanese music scene. I don't know anything about classical music and music theory. I'm just starting to discover the post-rock genre, so don't expect any educated opinions from my part on that subject as well. And concerning Yasushi Yoshida, I'm having difficulties to properly pronounce his name (try saying it three times fast in a row, you'll get what I mean). What I do
know, though, is that Grateful Goodbye is a brilliant album.
It's an album that aims at the heart instead of the mind. Yoshida makes music that should be really felt; music that surrounds and embraces the listener. It's a pretty happy affair too: playful piano lines are jumping around violins. Flutes and bells are playing hide-and-seek in the background. And the drums drive the songs (or compositions, what have you) forward. The use of electronics is kept to a minimum, but when applied they fit perfectly. There is apparently no limit to the use of different instruments and sounds, but instead of creating chaos, the end-result is orderly. At times, there's a lot going on at the same time, but it never feels like it's too much.
That's also because Yoshida treats silence and calm as a main ingredient. I said earlier that the album is a happy affair - and that's true - but it's not an ecstatic happiness as much as it is gentle and toned-down. The music really let's you come to rest - if you're willing to let it that is. Because the album requires a certain mindset to listen to it; it's not something to just have a spin at any given moment. I'm not saying this requires the full attention of the listener - it's brilliant background music while reading, for example - but the appreciation of Grateful Goodbye depends on the mood of the listener. In return, it can strengthen or change the mood with emotion-heavy compositions like the title track, "Embrace Calm Music" or "Pieces of Last Scene Brilliance".
But as I said, this is far from being an educated opinion. It's my attempt to convey my feelings and emotions, which I experience while listening to this piece of art. The only statement I can make at this point is: try it out for yourselves.