Guitar - Tokyo

The cover art for Tokyo

I discovered Guitar, as I normally do with new music, on Pandora (Akiko started appearing on my Paramore station).  My perception of Guitar's album, Tokyo, changed a lot once I actually bought it.  At first blush, the music seems like active, rhythmic, instrumental music.  And, as background music, it is.

What I find more interesting, though, is how minimalist the whole album is.  The focus of each song is only a few seconds long, and that focus is repeated throughout the whole song without any significant breaks or variations.  The whole song is just subtle variations and accents on that one core piece.

For an album that is so simple, it is extremely evocative.  There is just enough variation to keep you from noticing that the whole song is repetition, which means that the one theme in each song comes across very strong.  For instance, Red & White brings forth a sense of forlorn yearning.  This sense is emphasized by the repetition.  From the very start, everything seems almost complete, just needing a few notes more to feel a peaceful sense of closure.  And then it starts again.  And then it continues for 7 minutes.  

A couple of songs (Wash Me Away and Sakura Coming) are a bit discordant, but for the most part, I really enjoyed the album.