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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Wappa Gappa

Yamatai

Review by Gary Hill

Featuring strong prog arrangements and vocals in Japanese, this is a competent release that should entertain most prog fans. Wappa Gappa is Keizo Endo, Yasuhiro Tachibana, Hideaki Nagaike, Hiroshi Mineo, and Tamami Yamomoto.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: The Early Years Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Yamataikoku (Yamatai Country)
Starting in a rather riff oriented Yesish mode, the piece quickly moves through this intro and drops into a rather balladic segment. It features a mellow and jazzy instrumental break. A short Rush oriented segment also makes an appearance. The composition features a hard rocking segment as well.
Michi-naki michi (A Road to Nowhere)
A funky prog mode with Annie Haslamish vocals and segments of more regal, atmospheric music make up most of this track. In many ways, this feels like a harder edged Renaissance, and features a Dimeolaish fusion based segment.
Yuki-bana (SnowFlakes)
Starting in a beautiful and hauntingly sedate mode, this is another composition which feels a bit like Renaissance. It is a pretty prog ballad with strong percussion and a Gilmourish guitar solo.
Gareki no Hakobune (An Ark of Rubble)
With a intro that seems to combine Zeppelin and Floyd, this is a potent rock based cut with prog leanings. The song includes a very progish instrumental break, ala Yes.
Angel's Song
Starting in mellow keyboard modes, this number takes on strong prog textures and a harder edge. It feels a lot like Renaissance, but with bite. The cut really moves in a prog rocking fashion during the instrumental break, which features a Emersonlike keyboard sound. There is Rushish percussion, and definite ELP oriented arrangements. The composition includes fusion-oriented moments as well. At nearly 13 minutes, this piece really covers a lot of prog ground, in a wonderfully changing soundscape.
Amanogawa (Milky Way)
This one is a rather traditionally Asian ballad, with crunchy rock moments at times.
Ngwachurei (I Miss You)
Starting as a pretty acoustic guitar and vocal based ballad, this one moves into far more metallic prog territory sometimes (calling to mind both Pink Floyd and Yes). This is another strong number.
Tougenkyo (Shangri-La)
Beginning with sedate keys, this one becomes another balladic prog segment, before upping the ante and the intensity a bit to become a more potent prog cut in the modes of both Genesis and Renaissance. This competent prog number makes a dramatic and powerful ending for the album.
 
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