Kashiwa Daisuke
9 Songs


4.0
excellent

Review

by Pon EMERITUS
November 5th, 2014 | 118 replies


Release Date: 2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Expect the unexpected

Kashiwa Daisuke’s brilliance seems to be matched only by his indifference to his own audience, being apparently impervious to creating a piece of work that could be accused of vain crowd pleasing. Granted, the sugary nature of his music makes it unlikely to offend even the most casual of listeners, but one can’t help feel that Daisuke makes music to please Daisuke, and that his reverence among listeners is just a natural consequence of his ability to captivate. 9 Songs is of the same ilk as his previous work in terms of aesthetics, and just like his previous work, it also makes numerous stylistic deviations that are sure to puzzle you in the most delightful way imaginable. As the album travels across one of Daisuke’s signature narrative arcs, any initial misgivings are washed away in a tide of saccharine bliss.

As the delicate piano melodies of the brief opener fade and give way to the first proper song “Lilac”, you could be fooled into believing you aren’t listening to Daisuke at all. Upbeat synth lines and guitar chords have replaced the emotive keys that had become something of a trademark for him, while simplistic drum patterns form the rhythmic backbone as opposed to the energetic, breakbeat percussion of albums like April.#07 and 5 Dec.. The vocal presence of Naoko Sasaki – otherwise known as Piana – gives the already jovial songs a much needed human element, an identity rather unlike anything Daisuke has attempted before. Of course, he is no stranger to using female vocals to accentuate mood or atmosphere in his compositions, but allowing his own instrumentation to play a supplementary role was rather unexpected.

Enjoyable as these poppy numbers may be, whether or not they could have carried the album in its entirety we will never know, as Daisuke decided a change of pace was in order at the halfway point. Album centrepiece “Skyliner” represents a pivotal tone shift, reverting back to Daisuke’s more familiar brand of subtle piano work laced with strings, glitches, samples of running water, as well as cut-and-paste percussion. Piana’s vocal performance becomes more subdued from this point onward, but nonetheless provides a myriad of hooks and helps the album maintain a cohesive edge throughout. As one tune succeeds another, the album’s overall tenor becomes increasingly pensive, placing a greater emphasis on lush crescendo effects and poignant melodies. With the penultimate track “Where Am I Going” leading into the soothing finale, the album comes full circle, expanding on the very same piano motif that introduced the 9 Songs at the beginning.

At this point, it would be daft to expect Daisuke’s releases to follow any discernible trend or pattern, but no matter the challenge he sets for himself, the results are invariably enchanting. Contrary to what the simplistic title may suggest, 9 Songs is best enjoyed as whole body of work, so as the thematic variation between each song is appreciated to its fullest. The inclusion of permanent voice may initially throw some people off, but to dismiss anything by Daisuke based on a mere first impression is to misunderstand the kind of artist he is.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
SaneTBP
November 5th 2014


2127 Comments


Sweet review, this seems to be pretty intriguin'!

dimsim3478
November 5th 2014


8987 Comments


very awesome review but how did i not know this was happening (i am dum)

Phlegm
November 5th 2014


7250 Comments


!!!!

Keyblade
November 5th 2014


30678 Comments


Can't wait to jam this. Review describes the album exactly how I hoped it would sound, nice

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
November 5th 2014


47733 Comments


neg because no deathly silence befalling an idyllic utopia, but also pos because like, it's a Jac review, duh. great stuff

tommygun
November 5th 2014


27110 Comments


need

dimsim3478
November 5th 2014


8987 Comments


being apparently impervious to creating a piece of work that could be accused of vane crowd pleasing

think you meant "vain"

FrozenVain
November 5th 2014


3043 Comments


Oh fuck me new Kashiwa. Great stuff. Gonna jam.

Wadlez
November 5th 2014


5019 Comments


I thought he meant "vein"

amanwithahammer
November 5th 2014


585 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Cool that this already has a review. Will give it another listen soon

dimsim3478
November 5th 2014


8987 Comments


kashiwa does j-pop and it's glorious YESSSSSSSSSS

somebody get tree or rev or all them j-pop peeps in here

Keyblade
November 5th 2014


30678 Comments


How good is Faraway tho?

ChoccyPhilly
November 5th 2014


13634 Comments


Niiiiice.

This needs to be featured

menawati
November 5th 2014


16719 Comments


nice jacqui, will chill with this later

Calc
November 5th 2014


17366 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

wish I could like this just because its daisuke but I don't roll like that.

trackbytrackreviews
November 5th 2014


3469 Comments


How does this compare to Program Music?

reportingbird
November 5th 2014


1051 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

will check this soon,thanks for reminding me jac

treeqt.
November 5th 2014


16970 Comments


BUT I ONLY EVER LISTENED TO PROGRAM MUSIC SO PLEASE TELL ME HOW DOES THIS COMPARE

treeqt.
November 5th 2014


16970 Comments


does a 320 or better exist

Cygnatti
November 5th 2014


36070 Comments


same



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