Monday, 26 September 2011

Galileo Galilei [Parade Review]

Galileo Galilei are a Japanese rock band from Hokkaido that were formed in 2007. Currently signed to SME records who hold some very big artists such as Mika Nakashima and Ikimono Gakari, hopefully this means we will hear more from them in the future.

This debut album 'Parade' is very, very good and excellently performed. It is also hotly anticipated, as it has been a long time in the making. I only have praise for this band as there really is nothing bad about this album. It's acoustic rock, with a really smooth and professional edge. I hope this gets the publicity it deserves as their visit to London approaches.

It seems they are very in-tune with each other, and the music just seems to flow with a great ease,

Checking their band's info page, I couldn't believe how young they were, as they have such a mature and old-world sound. Each page I have is giving me differing information on which order the tracks go in, so I am using Amazon's guide.

Track by Track breakdown

1. Kanseitou (acoustic version) - A lovely relaxing way to start the album and to introduce you to Galileo Galilei if you have never heard them. The strong yet gentle vocals complement the flawless acoustic backing perfectly. The breaks and crescendos that flow in this track give it a perfect 'winding down' kind of feel. Definitely an anytime track, although giving this album a second listen, I could say that every track is.

2. Flappy - A really unique and uplifting song, which uses traditional sounding instruments throughout. The soft guitar and It also shows off the vocal range of Yuuki, whose voice is smooth and hits all the right notes. There are some very poetic and poignant lyrics in this song too. 'The heart is a boring song' is an interesting lyric. 'My flappy is a cute flappy', I am assuming this is either a bird or a metaphor for someone you love.

3. Boku kara no Kimi e - A more rock sounding song with a fantastic drum beat, it also brings out synthesized keyboards that give it a slight 80's twist. Yuuki, being the versatile and diverse lead vocalist, can make you feel emotion even if you cannot understand Japanese. The seeping bass and heightening guitar makes it an exciting song to listen to. As a person learning Japanese, it's also fun to hear a lot of familiar phrases and words.

4. Wakannai- A song dedicated to 3/4 band members home town, Wakannai, in the very north of Hokkaido. It has an affectionate feel that comes through the music and passionate singing. Hometowns are very important in Japanese culture, and the unique blend of instruments really works. Yuuki sounds fantastic and the ending minute or so includes other instruments such as trumpets and triangles. A great song!

5. 18 - Another song that is more rock sounding. The guitar is the most prominent instrument here, and while it pretty much drowns out the other instruments, the riff absolutely suits Yuuki's voice, his range is on show here in the most extravagent way as he hits falsettos that some female singers could only dream of. It could have been a minute longer, as once you find that you're hooked, it ends.

6. Yoru no Madobeto Yotsubano Clover - A soft, accoustic sounding song that uses a female backing singer quite prominently. It's a really well put together and lovely track. Slow and relaxing, it uses what sounds like an electronic keyboard halfway through, giving it a really unique sound. A good night-time relax track!

7. Dou demo ii - A really interesting and different sounding song, that I feel is influenced by funk. Yuuki's vocals are really prominent here, being in front of the music more so than any other song on this album. This is a fast paced and danceable song, the background vocals really add a layer to the song that gives it more depth. The talented musicians in this band really show off their skills in this one, as it's a really impressive track.

8. Yotsuba Sagashi No Tabibito - A track where the drums feature, giving it a really energetic and lively sound. This has a classic rock feel. With feeling of the 70's that flows through it, but giving it a modern twist. Every instrument is perfectly in line with each other, and there's a slick, stylistic feel to this, though the rustic feel also comes through.

9. Natsuzora - Jumping straight into the vocals about the summer sky, this is a really 'sunndy-day' track. Upbeat and inspiring, with a recognizable beat, this track is reminiscent of summer and makes you hope that perhaps it will last a little longer this year!

10. Hamanasu no Hana - A really great pop/rock song that has harkings of Tomoko Kawase's rock material. The drums make it a really 'nod your head' sounding track, and I can only praise Yuuki yet again, as he really is a brilliant vocalist, the entire band come together and the song flows effortlessly.

11. S I R E N - A darker sounding track right from the first beat, built up slowly with snare and guitar, Yuuki's vocals break through the slower beginning, and then it breaks into a fast riff, which then stops, and slows down again, a really fantastic track, as it is very unpredictable. It's also the longest track on the album at 6 minutes 52 seconds. It works being so long though as there are quite a few instrumental breaks. Finishing on a simple strum of the guitar ends this album perfectly.

This album gives a very positive first impression, but an even better second impression. This is also a great album to introduce someone to Japanese music, as it's so laid back and calm, while also being memorable.


Official Website

Amazon page (with sample tracks)

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