Apr 15

[Review] Kanon Wakeshima: Shinshoku Dolce

shinshoku_dolceKanon Wakeshima is an adorably cute yet dark gothic lolita who plays the cello and sings.  At least that’s the exciting bit that will rope you into picking up her debut album, Shinshoku Dolce.

Classically trained since the age of three, Kanon Wakeshima is a very good cellist.  The intro, “Sweet Ticket,”  is a stately waltz of cello, chiming triangles and a marching drum beat.  Please do ignore the cheesy synth that threatens to overwhelm the song towards the end.   Unfortunately, that synth shows up in every single song and her cello is often swallowed by the pop rock fakery produced on this album.  And I do blame the production by Mana (ex-Malice Mizer) for this faux pas.  The lilting sadness of the cello breaks through the saccharine goo too rarely.  When compared to the emotion in her singing and in her cello, the synth and manufactured drum tracks sound hollow and lifeless.

Despite all these obstacles in production and a lack of real instruments outside of her cello, Kanon Wakeshima manages to create some captivating tunes on tracks like “Suna no Oshiro” and “Still Doll.”  Both tracks are a bit slower and the cello is more prominent.  Also, Wakeshima’s voice isn’t very strong and becomes forcibly cute at times, but on these two tracks her voice is chillingly sweet.

Shinshoku Dolce is a sweet violation of genres.  She’s got the classical and gothic part down, but the electropop is more like electrofizzle.

Artist:  Kanon Wakeshima
Album:  Shinshoku Dolce
Label:  Sony Music Entertainment
Release date:  February 18, 2009