Yoshiki – Yoshiki Classical

Yoshiki Classical presents the oddest of contradictions.  Looking at Yoshiki, a revered Japanese rockstar with a flamboyant flair for the dramatics, one wouldn’t expect such softened and gentle pieces to come from a man so over the top.  Looking at Yoshiki, a colorful, near diva-like star of the drums with typically poppy upbeats, one wouldn’t expect such dark, ominous themes from an imaginative mind that can be best described as “cheerful.”  Looking at Yoshiki, a complete enigma to the Western Hemisphere of classical music, one wouldn’t expect such sweeping movements that you’d mistake them from a John Williams Hollywood bravado score.  To be frank, Yoshiki Classical is a welcoming surprise of thunderous opuses and over-the-top emotional scores that brings to the genre what its been sorely missing: zest.

What Japanese rockstar Yoshiki has created as a composer is without a doubt everything that a Hollywood film score composer wishes they could do as a solo project.  Yoshiki Classical is pure and simple memorable melodies full of BIG poignant touches. From top to bottom, the record is an all-out “moment” record, presenting 11 pieces that were meant to be short narratives of consistent rising strings, meditated tear-jerkers, and solo winds to that push the record just short from being considered “poppy.”

Yoshiki Classical comprises new pieces and classical arrangements of some of Yoshiki’s most endearing moments in composing.  From the Golden Globe Theme to the Emperor of Japan’s 10 Year Anniversary piece, Yoshiki Classical showcases really who the man is: a “rise to the occasion” master of ceremonies.

The crown of the album, “Miracle” is perhaps Yoshiki’s darkest piece on the record, eerily reminiscent from something out of the Two Steps From Hell production house and a movie trailer fanboy’s dream.   And while most of the record is very “Hollywood-tribute” in style and glamour, there are shades of Yoshiki’s Japanese contemporaries that can be compared within.  The classical version of “Red Christmas” harkens a touch of Nobuo Uematsu’s style of lush landscape sounds and aptly-timed harps.  Yoshiki Classical is in all aspects definitively his vision – full of splendor and accessibility that is every bit as vibrant as the creator himself.

Throughout the record, the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Tokyo City Philharmonic Orchestra absolutely radiate and present every bit of Yoshiki’s vision in stirling fashion.  Yes there are quite a bit of cheeky moments and unnecessary dramatics on Yoshiki Classical, but in a way they bring a level of imagination and ambition that hasn’t been felt in contemporary classical works for some time.  Yoshiki Classical is what a hollywood blockbuster Fast and The Furious 6 is to a screenplay dialogue heavy-hitter Brokeback Mountain would be.  With Yoshiki Classical, you’re not coming for intense, moving thoughts. Forget yourself for a moment. Lose the seriousness.  Just live. Seize the day.

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