Cinema - Into The State Of Flux

Year of Release: 2000
Label: Musea
Catalog Number: FGBG 4356.AR
Format: CD
Total Time: 60:15:00

The Japanese group Cinema is difficult to describe, but such is the task of a progressive-music reviewer! You might think of Cinema as the gentler side of Jade Warrior mixed with Kitaro and with a female vocalist thrown into the mix. Almost all of the music is on the mellow side, with very few upbeat moments, though the sound is always relaxing and pleasant, never grim. Progressive new age?

In any case, you can expect massive layers of keyboards, punctuated here and there by short electric guitar bits and various types of percussion. The music is heavily symphonic, but less in the classical sense than in the film-score direction, what you might call pop-classical. Still, there are moments, such as the beginning and end of the mostly instrumental track, "A Dayfly and a Sunflower," that are strongly classical, with traditional stringed instruments (as contrasted with electronic keyboards) and acoustic piano. In fact, traditional stringed instruments appear often throughout the album, not surprising when one considers that a band member, Tokiko Nakanishi, plays violin and viola and three guest musicians all play strings.

The vocals are a bit over the top for my taste. Hiromi Fujimoto boasts an intense vibrato, which lends a strong operatic feel to her singing. (Also, I should mention that all the vocals are in Japanese, with lyric translations in the booklet.) There is no question, however, that this lady can sing and probably has had formal training. Unfortunately, I prefer more "rock-like" vocals in my prog, although I freely admit that's a personal bias. When it comes to female vocals, about as far as I go in the "classical" direction is Annie Haslam. (By admitting my biases, you'll know where I'm coming from!)

Some people are excited about this album, others not so much. Me, I enjoy it okay -- in fact, there are several places where the album genuinely moves me -- but it's too close to New Age for my tastes and the vocals are too operatic. I have to be in the right mood, you know? To be fair, though, let there be no doubt that the music is well composed, performed and produced. If this album's style of music fits your tastes, you'll be playing it a lot.

Flux (1:33) / Memories of Amber (4:43) / A Trick of Waves (5:11) / A Dayfly and a Sunflower (8:32) / A Breeze (2:35) / Confusion (9:08) / An Evening Calm (6:00) / Color of Soul (19:48) / Flux II (1:33)

Hiromi Fjimoto - vocals
Tohru Ohta - guitar and synthesizer
Masaki Mashimo - bass and synthesizer
Hirozaku Taniguchi - drums
Yushihiko Kitamura - synthesizer and ocarina
Tokiko Nakanishi - violin and viola

Seven Stories (1995)
Into The State Of Flux (2000)
Mindscape (2004)

Genre: Symphonic Prog

Origin JP

Added: October 13th 2001
Reviewer: Clayton Walnum

Artist website:
Hits: 961
Language: english


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