acoustic folk j-folk piano review singer songwriter world music

Aoi Teshima – “Tales of Earthsea Kashu” Review

The girl lucky enough to sing and then be offered lead actress in a Studio Ghibli film had her dreams come true when straight after her début album “Tales of Earthsea Kashu” was released. The ten track album is full of Aoi’s beautifully serene vocal talent but is that enough?

“Kazoeuta” opens the album with just Teshima singing sparsely. It’s a tender introduction to a tender album. “Ryu” brings in a foreboding sounding piano which quickly gives way to a gentle touching ballad that has a bass driven bridge. The interesting chords used gives it a fresh sound compared to other ballads.

“Tasogare” is much more folksy and traditional with guitars, zithers and rain sticks at hand. This is much more epic in scale and the style of music really suits Aoi’s voice. This is definitely a highlight of the album. “Betu no Hito” is cute. Half folk half waltz and a smattering of accordion does this track no harm.

“Tabibito” slows things down again with a piano/vocal track. The addition of strings helps this song pass through smoothly with its catchy chorus. Even when a chorus is rousing, Teshima always has a certain sadness and wisdom in her young voice which makes the song here. “Nanakamado” is the other stand out along with “Tasogare” and “Tabibito” as this is the sole happy folk song. There’s a bounce in the songs step which makes it irresistible to listen to however It also makes you wonder why every other song is slow.

“Sora no Shuten” is bitter-sweet and reflective in sound and completely in offensive, as is “Haru no Yoru ni” although the latter is much more delicate and spacious. That then brings us to the Tales songs. “Therru no Uta” is a beautiful song and still shines on its own merit. Fresh and haunting with a sweet ending, it never loses its appeal. It does however showcase that this album is completely one sound. If you liked this song, then be prepared for 10 very similar songs. “Toki no Uta” completes the set in typical fashion.

So the first album could be either completely justifiably solemn and minimal or completely uninspired depending on your view. I think the term sometimes on this album is “Lazy”. This is essentially an extension album from the film songs that done so well. Therefore sticking with a winning formula they’ve diluted the magic they had. No song is bad but played together they lose their sparkle a bit. One thing is certain though, she has a voice to sing me to sleep night after night after night…

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