Le Petit Bois
Le Petit Bois
April 30, 2012
Buy at Official Site
Le Petit Bois (translated The Small Wood) is the first original album from former Gust member Kazuki Yanagawa. In 2010, the young man joined the company to participate on major projects, such as Ar tonelico III, Atelier Totori, and Atelier Meruru, often filling in for the company’s veterans. While he primarily contributed instrumental tracks to these projects, he has gained experience through Atelier titles and the doujin vocaloid album Gomibako! to experiment as a vocal composer. In collaboration with lyricist and vocalist Kiki Morino, he dedicated Le Petit Bois to vocal performances inspired by organic imagery.
The album opens with “La memoire que j’ai oublie” (“The Memory That I Forgot”), a beautiful composition. Charming instrumentation, focusing on strings and piano, creates a suitably pensive mood for this atmosphere. Kiki Morino’s vocals work smoothly within the musical structure and should be readily accessible to listeners. What’s more, the melody is something most listeners will remember. Overall, this track fits nicely for an introduction to this mini-album.
At five minutes, “About the Darkness, the Light and the Vague Contours” is the longest and most developed track on the CD. While being very laid-back in
nature, it features an ethnic aura with focus on acoustic guitars and soft percussion elements to capture the vivid imagery. However, the instrumentation — especially the repetitive xylophone parts in the background — can grow repetitious after a while. “What Is Being Sought” is the shortest of the bunch and mainly serves as interlude to the second half of the CD. There is hardly not much more to say about this little weird one, aside that it features some strange sound effects and babbling voices in the end…
Kiki Morino’s only original composition, “Hometown of the Flowers”, is very dreamy with focus on chorus and piano backing paired with xylophone segments. While the composition itself isn’t the strongest, the vocals really shine here and it’s clear that the singer means every word. The next track, “Words from the Void”, features a lively and fresh atmosphere in the style of Gust with ethnic instrumentation and use of bouncy percussion. The addition of some male vocals in the chorus complements the rest of the piece well.
“blind world” is easily my favorite track from this album. It’s the most action-oriented track, thanks to the addition of electric guitars and frantic percussion. What’s more, the melody and arrangement are also excellently done and the vocals work wonderfully within. A definite winner here! The album closes on a jazzy and carefree note with “Boundaries”, another acoustic composition from Yanagawa. The vocals are more of the typical cheesy sort found on various Atelier songs of the past. Not quite my cup of tea, really.
With Le Petit Bois, Kazuki Yanagawa proves that he can create good vocal themes between his work as a background music composer. With the exception of the third track, all compositions are surprisingly serious in tone, unlike his often annoying works on Ar tonelico III. It certainly matches the thoughtful mood and scenic focus of the album. While all tracks are listenable, sadly only “blind world” stands as especially memorable and experimental. Let’s hope we’ll see more of this calibre in the future!
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Posted on August 1, 2012 by Max Nevill. Last modified on August 1, 2012.