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St. Claire biography
St.CLAIRE are a six-piece Japanese Art Rock project founded in April 2020 by a frontlady / keyboardist / composer Yuko ANZAI. The lineup are Yuko (keyboards), KIKO (vocals), Ayaka TOMINAGA (violin), Eiji MORIGUCHI (guitars), Sunao HIKIDA (drums), and Hiroaki FUJII (bass). They released the debut album entitled "Claire's Fantasy" in May 2021 created with Yuko's composition for over a year.

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3.00 | 1 ratings
Claire's Fantasy

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 Claire's Fantasy by ST. CLAIRE album cover Studio Album, 2021
3.00 | 1 ratings

Claire's Fantasy
St. Claire Symphonic Prog

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group Avant/Cross/Neo/Post Teams

— First review of this album —
3 stars Let me say this is sorta sincere and faithful performance according to so-called Japanese Symphonic Rock that lots of Japanese progressive rock fans love. A Japanese project St. CLAIRE were founded as a symphonic rock sextet in April 2020 by a keyboardist / composer Yuko ANZAI who possesses classical and pop music bases. This debut album "Claire's Fantasy", released in May 2021, is filled with Yuko's imagination and soundscape all over, that had been warmed up in her inner mind for a year or more. The concept of this opus sounds like that one of Japanese Symphonic combos Teru's Symphonia meets orthodox pop / rock.

The departure "Dawning" has energy and enthusiasm for opening the curtain. A cappella voices in the beginning are also splendid. The melodious atmosphere rings the bell of the listeners who love Japanese crossover progressive or something. We could feel their intention firstly to show their appearance via this track. The longest track in this album "Strider" sounds quite refined and settled altogether. This involves various melodic and rhythmic appearances reminding us of the similarity to Citizen Cain or British Symphonic vanguards. Anyway, am I the only one who can hear some homage to the vanguards? "Hand In Hand" is another 'authentic' symphonic progressive rock driving us smile. Very impressive are Eiji's smooth and flavourful guitar playing and Ayaka's violin sounds full of passion. "Claire's Song" the masterpiece of this album (I guess) is a theatre of Yuko's artistic keyboard plays. Under a calm situation, a musical affair by delightful sound combinations of the keyboard and the violin catches our heart comfortably. In "The Place" we can enjoy positive voices and active melody lines, and do not forget such a catchy movement dominant all over the song. Pleasant indeed, and somewhat tragic, don't know why though.

In conclusion, this creation is good as an art rock-seasoned pop music. Just as a piece of buttered toast spread with massive honey, it sounds a bit too sweet. But it's well understood because listener-friendly melody lines or vibes would 'unwittingly' go ahead of complicated symphonic innovation to catch their heart in a direct manner. In addition, Kiko's voices are too powerful and beautiful to support other instruments. Actually Sunao and Hiroaki's rhythm section is rigorous and supportive enough to unify all 'individualistic' instruments completely ... If not, every single instrument runs around assertively. A fantastic opus for their debut creation. Recommended for every Japanese Symphonic Rock fan. ;)

Thanks to dAmOxT7942 for the artist addition.

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