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A Gift to Japan: Basiscape’s ‘Oto Gift’ Charity Album (Review)

A Gift to Japan: Basiscape’s ‘Oto Gift’ Charity Album (Review)

Email This Post Share on Facebook A Gift to Japan: Basiscape’s ‘Oto Gift’ Charity Album (Review)Tweet This Post Print This Post 04.22.11 | | 5 Comments

We’ve been hearing a lot about ways to help out the people in Japan who have suffered so greatly after the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami in March. There have been auctions, concerts, and albums among others, and Basiscape has joined the fray with a small album of original music to raise funds for the Red Cross in Japan.

What does the team have to offer in this online-only digital release? Find out in our review after the jump.

Right from the start, you’ll notice that this isn’t some thrown-together collection of tracks that the team had sitting around. The quality of the music as well as the hopeful track titles and melodies are obviously intended for the people of Japan who have been suffering.

Hitoshi Sakitmo starts the album off with “The Light and the Sunshine,” a vocal theme with a huge surprise. Sakimoto’s track is new age in approach with swelling pads and angelic belltones, but what really makes this track special are the vocals by Yumi Matsuzawa. Her voice is soft and soothing, fitting perfectly with Sakimoto’s fluffy backing, and you’ll be interested to know that Hironobu Sakaguchi himself wrote the lyrics. I’m curious about how this track came about, but in any case, it’s absolutely beautiful.

Azusa Chiba follows with the strangely titled “Cgac Edch,” a sweet and upbeat tune that sounds like a town theme of sorts. A shaker and other toy percussion keep a steady tempo as piano and a playful woodwind melody creates a relaxing atmosphere.

Mitsuhiro Kaneda’s “Tomorrow’s Footsteps” sounds like something right out of Opoona with its lighthearted sound and interesting harmonies. The track title supports the music in its positive and hopeful message urging people to look forward and start anew. Manabu Namiki’s track is similarly Opoona-like with a futuristic electronic sound. It’s titled “Not Alone,” and while it’s not as obviously emotional as some of the other tracks, it’s certainly upbeat and gives off the image of a shopping mall of the future.

Kimihiro Abe takes a more emotional and contemplative approach in “con amore,” a solo piano ballad. That’s not to say that it’s not also hopeful, but it’s not as bubbly as previous tracks. It’s one of the more touching pieces on the album. Yoshimi Kudo also takes a solo approach, but instead opts to use acoustic guitar. The track is appropriately titled “Harmonics,” and it’s quite beautiful, reminding me of Kotaro Oshio’s work.

And there you have it. Short but sweet. I’m impressed with all of the tracks on the album, and there really aren’t any duds. You can’t argue with the price (it’s about $5 USD on Amazon), and it’s supporting a great cause. Be sure to head over to the Basiscape website to listen to samples before buying it [Update: There were initially encoding issues with the iTunes release that have since been corrected]!

What do you think of this album concept? Any thoughts regarding Hitoshi Sakimoto’s track with lyrics by Hironobu Sakaguchi?

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