First posted on echoesanddust.com.
Nick Takénobu Ogawa, operating under the moniker of Takénobu, offers his latest solo album ‘Reversal’, released independently by the artist himself. The new album from the artist features his trademark style of modern classical music, layering instrumentals over each other to create rich textural music. ‘Reversal’ comes across as another strong album within a genre where we see can see a lot of flak from those simply doing their bare minimum, and hardly trying to create anything of interest. We can argue that at times, Takénobu is guilty of this, though there’s some lovely moments on ‘Reversal’ that we can attach ourselves too.
‘Reversal’ builds up gentle classical tones in a slightly modern fashion, using current time signatures and methods to create gentle and comfortable soundscapes. It’s in Takénobu’s competent abilities as both a composer and performer do we see the strengths of this album effort. Everything comfortable glides along at a pleasant pace, until we confronted by the more challenging and interesting ideas the record possesses. Takénobu seems to be trying to break up the monotony of classical records by including various other ideas, including slightly darker and more experimental tracks.
This doesn’t detract from the fact that many of the tracks on ‘Reversal’ fall into the trap we often see on records like this. Many performers of classical instruments, whether it be cello like Takénobu or whatever else you can think of, it seems most people are only able to get one tone and one sound out of their instrument, making most tracks sound too similar to each other, resulting in the same old sluggish album experience we’re so often confronted with. Takénobu has tried to combat this with a few tracks on ‘Reversal’, though it’s perhaps not enough to stop the whole album experience from becoming a little dull at times.
Though the whole album itself becomes a flawed listening experience, we’re still offered some very nice ideas from a clearly talented composer who definitely has some nice ideas to offer. The album’s third track ‘Curtain Call’ definitely has some merits with its more modern approach to composition, mostly down to its inclusion of vocals. Certain elements come across as a little cheesy perhaps, but it still remains an enjoyable listen, and definitely a highlight from the album itself. This is perhaps one of those albums where you’ll find yourself ignoring the more forgettable tracks, but definitely enjoying the more memorable ones.
- ★★★☆☆ 3/5
- Curtain Call
- Snow Day
Takénobu’s latest album ‘Reversal’ is out now.