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CINDERELLA SEARCH is perhaps one of the most English-sounding Japanese prog bands around. However, don't be fooled by the old MARILLION song title: they don't sound remotely like them even if they do claim being inspired by the band, among others. Their music features lots of violin and flute, some Mellotron as well as HACKETT-ish guitars (both acoustic and electric) and BANKS-ian keyboards. Lead singer Akihisa Nakamura, who often dons GABRIEL-esque masks and make-up on stage, has a rather pleasant high-pitched voice and not at all like Peter GABRIEL's.

Their self-titled debut album is rather laid-back, somewhat like a mixture of CAMEL for the mellowness and WHITE WILLOW for its organic qualities. Female violinist Junko Minobe experiments with lots of styles here, including Celtic, classical and even a brief flurry of country fiddle. Much more jazzy, their second album "Stories of Luminous Garden" bears some clear UK influences. With its fusion-style violin, electric piano and new-wavy sequencers and drums, the music is energetic, almost bombastic, at times taking on arena rock proportions. Overall, their material never gets boring or predictable. A nice find if you can get your hands on these albums, which seem hard to come by outside of Japan.

A nice little band to discover if you're into 70's style prog la UK.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

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3.19 | 8 ratings
Cinderella Search
2.54 | 9 ratings
Stories of Luminous Garden
4.00 | 2 ratings
The Suite Next World

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Cinderella Search by CINDERELLA SEARCH album cover Studio Album, 1993
3.19 | 8 ratings

Cinderella Search
Cinderella Search Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Widely-unknown Japanese symphonic band,starting their career around mid- to late-80's under the figure of keyboardist/singer Akihisa Nakamura.On CINDERELLA SEARCH we also find classic-trained/prog-influenced violinist Junko Minobe with many collaborations in her country,later to be found on the line-up of another great Japanese progressive act,''Azoth''.Picture material indicate that CINDERELLA SEARCH was much of a theatrical group,using costumes and make-ups.By 1993 the band had grown into a sextet,while their debut came out the same year on Made In Japan.

Despite the link with the eponymous song of ''Marillion'' and the use of costumes,recalling ''Genesis'', CINDERELLA SEARCH'es sound has nothing to do with these bands.Their musicianship is much brighter and sensitive, characterized by the trully heavy use of violin,so the appropriate comparisons would be compatriots OUTER LIMITS or even better SAGRADO CORACAO DA TERRA.You won't find much of fiery electric guitars in here either.''Cinderella search'' is based on the magnificent violins of Minobe,the strong synth/organ solos of Nakamura and Masahiro Takeuchi,the solid rhythm section and the ultra-sensitive vocals of Nakamura,making the whole atmosphere quite romantic and emotional.The result is a rather straightforward melodic prog album with classical elements,yet a couple of tracks offer the bombastic sound of the well-known Japanese bands,featuring nice guitar solos and sufficient interplays.

Notice that all lyrics are written in English,while the last (awesome) track ''Remember you'' has been covered by Fabio Zuffanti's HOSTSONATEN on their debut (how did they dig it up???).For fans of soft symphonic/melodic prog this is an absolutely decent album.Personally I enjoyed it quite a bit.Recommended.

 Stories of Luminous Garden by CINDERELLA SEARCH album cover Studio Album, 2001
2.54 | 9 ratings

Stories of Luminous Garden
Cinderella Search Neo-Prog

Review by pussywillow

3 stars 40 years of listening to Rock music (in all it's forms) and I finally get around to boring everybody with a review.

An odd choice for a first, but this one intrigued me.

Firstly it's a Japanese Prog rock album, which from all accounts is rather hard to get your paws on.

Secondly, despite being older than the Thames I had never given any Japanese outfit a second look.

Thirdly, the Japanese have always maintained a consistent interest in rock ; Made in Japan, Live at the Budokan for example show what good taste these fine folks have had over the years. Their own - home grown - stuff

I have to say, I approached this record with a pre-concieved idea of what I was about to hear. I was thinking : wailing Japanese folk instruments and probably a equally annoying female voice (check the cover).

Wrong on both counts.

This is actually a well concieved and not unoriginal piece of work, something like a cross between early period Genesis (without the humour) and would you believe, Pavlov's Dog.

Ah fear not, not the high soprano of that excellent band, but the violin/keyboards interaction. The lead singer clearly models himself on Mr Gabriel at his best, in terms of wearing ludicrous headgear, but his vocal range cannot be compared to the legend. It's mid range, nothing out of the ordinary (think Pendragon ?) and embellished with sweet harmonies.

Not for the Heavy brigade this one, although there are a few rock riffs to enjoy here and there, 'Two Drifters', in particular stands out. Some of the songs border on the cheesey, although performed with verve and confidence. 'Snowfall' will send a lot of Prog diehards running for the hills, with it's rather twee content, and then the Reprise, rather unsurprisingly called 'Snowfall (Reprise)'.

All in all, an extremely pleasant and enjoyable listening experience, and as I said earlier, not one for the heavy metallers among us. Well worth tracking down if you can find it, and if your bag is Genesis/Starcastle/Pavlovs Dog/Kansas then it's worth hunting down.

 Stories of Luminous Garden by CINDERELLA SEARCH album cover Studio Album, 2001
2.54 | 9 ratings

Stories of Luminous Garden
Cinderella Search Neo-Prog

Review by hdfisch
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Well, this one is a typical NeoProg album, though regarding musicianship quite well done, versatile, very melodic but sometimes, what I don't like that much in albums of this genre, quite cheesy and too bombastic. Another point which pushes the rating down are the bad vocals what is more often the case with bands from Japan. maybe it would be better if they'd be in their native language, but this is most of the times hard to support for western ears as well. Overall the music is quite okay apart from parts when it becomes too shallow and pop-ish, at least if one likes NeoProg in general, what I don't apart of few exceptions. I'd say for die-hard fans of this genre only and the ones who collect items especially from this country.
Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition.

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