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progVisions

progVisions is a progressive rock e-zine, published in English and made by an international group of members. Our objective is to become a centre of information that contributes to the knowledge, growth and development of progressive rock.

album reviews

album review

Yuka & Chronoship - SHIP - 2018


    
“... keyboard drenched songs ...”
Yuka & Chronoship was formed in 2009 by keyboard maestro Yuka Funakoshi and three experienced session musicians (Shun Taguchi, Takashi Miyazawa and Ikko Tanaka).You can find a review of their second album “Dino Rocket Oxygen” here on progVisions. Their forth album is entitled “SHIP” and has been released worldwide excluding Japan (where the album is available via King Records) by Cherry Red Records. 
Yuka Funakoshi - piano, keyboards, voice
Shun Taguchi - bass & chorus
Takashi Miyazawa - guitars
Ikko Tanaka - drums

Guest vocals: Sonja Kristina (Curved Air), Hiroyuki Izuta 
The first seven songs of this 11 tracks album are reserved for a suite (“The Argo Suite”) that is based on Greek mythology. Argo was the ship on which Jason and the Argonauts sailed from Iolcos to Colchis to retrieve the Golden Fleece. She was named after her builder Argus. According the legend Argo was the first Ship to sail the seas. On the first song “Tears of the Figurehead” of the Argo suite you can hear the contribution of Curved Air singer Sonja Kristina. She sings the lines “Where do we come from? Where are we going? Where are we born? Where do we die?” The sound samples that are used in the suite gives you the impression that you are sailing on the ship. The first real song “The Ship Argos” shows directly the power of the band with melodic instrumental wizardry. The members are all very skilled musicians. And Yuka Funakoshi rejoice us with beautiful piano and powerful keyboard playing. Listen for instance to the brilliant Hammond organ parts in the pieces “Landing” and “Golden Fleece”. In the last part of the Hammond organ dominated “Golden Fleece” the guitar gets some more room and Yuka switches to piano. In the uptempo piece “A Dragon That Never Sleeps” you can find fine bass parts, guitar solo’s and melodic synth parts. The rhythm section gets all the room to excel in this part. The synth melodies give the piece an uplifting atmosphere. The end section works nicely towards a climax. Great song and one of the highlights of the album! The band slows down a little bit with the next song “Islands In The Stream”. Acoustic guitars, piano, nice vocal harmonies and lovely synth melodies are dominating this part  in the last section after the Mellotron strings the band goes full throttle again with great electric guitar and synth solo’s. When this part flows seamlessly into the part “Return” you are listening to beautiful keyboard dominated Symphonic Rock. A great ending of a fine “The Argos Suite”.

Besides “The Argos Suite” you can find the following four tracks on this fine album; “The Ship Of Jean Giraud”, “Visible Light”, “Old Ship On the Grass” and “Did You Find a Star?”.

In “The Air Ship Of Jean Giraud” you can find strong vocal melodies. Besides the Symphonic Rock atmosphere of this song you can also find some jazz fusion atmospheres in this song. Especially if you listen to the guitar parts of Takashi Miyazawa. One of my personal favorites of this album is the song “Visible Light”. Beautifully sung by Yuka. You can find the English translation of this Japanese song in the booklet. After the first vocal part you can enjoy melodic guitar and synth solo’s in an instrumental intermezzo. The song has a beautiful melody line. The next song is called “Old Ship on the Grass” and opens with acoustic guitar (or is it a mandolin).  It is a song with an uplifting melody and some Folky atmospheres. The album ends with a song that was intended to have vocals sung by the late John Wetton. First the song was shelved but it is now recorded with guest singer Hiroyuki Izuta. When you know this your thoughts will, while you are listening to this song, automatically go towards John ... remembering all the joy he brought while performing his beautiful songs. The song (“Did you find a star?”) has a beautiful instrumental middle section with delicate piano and guitar parts. A worthy ending of a fine new album.

If you don’t know the band yet, you will be positively surprised by the wonderful music of this Japanese band. If you do, you will know what to expect ... another fine album with keyboard drenched songs with mainly a Progressive and Symphonic Rock atmosphere. The strong point of the band is that they manage to put a lot of melody in their songs. And not only in the vocal parts! Your reviewer enjoyed this album very much. It will be a great addition to your Prog collection.
Douwe Fledderus - October 2018
rating - Cherry Red Records / King Records

 

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