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TRACK LIST: 1. Hallelujah 5:28 2. Bon Voyage 4:41 3. Voyager 6:33 4. Train Song 4:08 5. Fiction 5:08 6. TV 5:41 All tracks: by Quikion. LINE-UP: Totoki Yukiko - vocals; concertina Sasaki Emi - accordion; glockenspiel Oguma Eiji - acoustic guitar Shimuzu Rei - bass Produced by Quikion. Engineered by A. Kohei.
Prolusion. My knowledge of the creation of this Japanese group is quite poor. I only know that "Hallelujah!" is a collection of Quikion's earliest recordings never before released.
Synopsis. Above all, I must note that this album has an excellent full-fledged sound, which doesn't arouse any associations with what we usually expect from collections of unreleased tracks. Furthermore, this album is stylistically uniform, and there are only some performance features that the songs on "Hallelujah!" can be distinguished by. The music is a unique acoustically symphonic Art-Rock with elements of some of one Folk music, which, despite the fact that all the vocals here are in Japanese, is of a European rather than Eastern origin. The alternation of vocal-based and purely instrumental parts is typical for the entire album, and the instrumental arrangements remain diverse and interesting throughout each of the six songs here. Totoki Yukiko's vocals are very beautiful, though she also excellently plays concertina. The most unusual aspect of "Hallelujah!" is the absence of drums and any other percussion instruments here, which arouses a sensation of some wonderful airiness of this music, which, moreover, consists exclusively of acoustic structures. The songs Hallelujah, Bon Voyage, Fiction, and TV (1, 2, 4, & 6) were performed with all the instruments the band has in its equipment, and varied interplay between passages and solos of acoustic guitar and solos of accordion and glockenspiel are usually at the helm of arrangements. The parts of concertina 'go into action' when Totoki stops singing, and those of bass appear only from time to time. The remaining two songs: Voyager and Train Song (3 & 4) are quieter and mellower than the others and are full of inexpressible charm. Here, Totoki sings only to the accompaniment of passages of acoustic guitar interwoven with solos of accordion, though purely instrumental arrangements feature also the parts of concertina, as usual.
Conclusion. The music on "Hallelujah!" isn't that complex, especially in comparison with the other Poseidon Records releases I've reviewed until now, so from a 'classic' progressive standpoint, I can't rate the album higher than with five stars. Nevertheless, all of the songs here are not only very original and beautiful, but are also marked with the touch of magic. Recommended to the lovers of a moderately complex Symphonic Progressive, which is certainly not the same as Neo.
VM: November 6, 2003
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