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Yuka & Chronoship - Ship CD (album) cover

SHIP

Yuka & Chronoship

 

Neo-Prog

3.96 | 56 ratings

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BrufordFreak
4 stars Very well-recorded and produced heavy Neo Prog with a symphonic flair from Japanese prog keyboard player Yuka Funakoshi and her posse.

The "ARGO" Suite: - 1. "Tears Of Figurehead" (1:55) Sonja Kristina sounds old. (4/5) - 2. "Ship Argos" (6:30) tightly performed Neo Prog with a crisp, heavy edge. The electric guitars are well played if stereotypic for the modern Heavy/Metal prog sound. Yuka's keys and wordless vocals are the highlight of this song for me. (8/10) - 3. "Landing" (5:49) standard heavy Neo Prog with some really great keyboard and rhythm guitar work and some really loud, in your ear kick drum work. Quite a little common ground with Lalo Huber's NEXUS band. (8.5/10) - 4. "Golden Fleece" (5:04) nice set up--reminiscent of URIAH HEEP or even PROCUL HARUM and FOCUS only heavier. Nice organ and lead guitar work. (8.75/10) - 5. "A Dragon That Never Sleeps" (7:09) opens with chunky bass, soon joined by fast pacing drums (in straight time). Nice bass playing and lead guitar work. Best diversity and instrumental displays of the suite. (9/10) - 6. "Islands In The Stream" (3:54) opening with nice acoustic guitar play, bass, drums and vocalise soon join in. Great feel, great mix, great melodies. (9.5/10) - 7. "Return" (2:04) has all of the bombast of a rock opera intro/outro. Nice endpoint. (5/5)

8. "Air Ship Of Jean Giraud" (6:17) a mild tempoed song that tells a story instrumentally, even broken up into "chapters" with shifting themes and dynamics. Quite nice. A show piece for guitarist Takashi Miyazawa fine work. (9/10)

9. "Visible Light" (8:02) Lyrics! Yuka singing! In Japanese! It's good! The "Mellotron" is a bit dated within this mix but it's a good song! Very nice work from drummer Ikko Tanaka and the rhythm guitarist. (8.75/10)

10. "Old Ship On The Grass" (5:01) acoustic guitars (ukelele?) and a bit of a down-home rhythm section over which Yuka's organ plays an almost-polka sound. Kind of hokey but Yuka's piano and scatting in the second half make up for it. (8.25/10)

11. "Did You Find A Star" (9:06) opens with piano and "flute" in a slow, somber pastoral set up. Vocalist Hiroyuki Izuda opens up the singing showing quite some talent and aplomb. Flute gets the next verse before Hiroyuki joins in again. They lose a little momentum during the chorus as Hiroyuki has to resort to "na-na-nas" to complete the space in the melody. A long, soft interlude breaks the song up halfway through before picking up and continuing Sonja Kristina is supposed to be present somewhere here but I can't hear her. (8.75/10)

The Argo suite has the feel of seven songs sequenced together instead of one prog epic. The instrumental work is excellent--especially the keyboards and guitars--but the composition and engineering are a little too much like Arjen Lucassen's prog-by-the-numbers. Also, I can't decide if this is Heavy Prog, Neo Prog, or Symphonic Prog. I think the music suffers from always being played in such straightforward rock time signatures.

Four stars; an excellent addition to any prog lover's music collection.

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |

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