Monday, July 15, 2024
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Diana Yukawa - The Butterfly Effect


Overall: (?)

Classical < < < > > > Pop

Highlights: Flying, Children, Magnolia, 3000 AD, La Priere, Little Prayer

The Butterfly Effect is Diana Yukawa's first serious attempt at classical crossover music and it is much in the same vein as Vanessa-Mae's Storm and Subject to Change albums, though that is not to say that Yukawa is a copycat. Violinists often surround their strings with club friendly beats and though Yukawa is no exception according to the majority of the album, she does offer variety in arrangements and the drum machine, when present, never overbears Yukawa's instrument. They only complement Yukawa's performance, and they never stray away from the point. The fact that Yukawa and team never lose sight of what their songs are supposed to mean, is obvious when you find how well the music fits the song titles!

Yukawa co-composed ten tracks on the album, all of which have a distinctive sound set apart from the others. Her string almost always has an Eastern flavour, combining her divided heritage (half Japanese, half British) in her compositions. The relationship between the east and west is most evident in tracks like 'Magnolia', where the violin generates the exotic atmosphere, but keeping to the traditionally western pop song structure. The song has an ideal melody line to be sung, and if it were, would have an immensely catchy and remarkable chorus. The Robert Miles cover, 'Children', also demonstrates the correlation between the two worlds, giving the well known track a more memorable make-over than the recent rendition by Escala, as Yukawa never forgets that it's the violin that is the star of the show.

There are some songs that feel like faint echoes of stronger tracks from the album, such as 'Sail into the Sunset', 'Gone Missing Girl' and 'The Visitor' that starts off well, but is too monotonous to be dragged out as a standard timed track. These moments, however, are fortunately rare, and nothing a good ol' optimistic and fun track like '3000 AD' cannot remedy. 'My Instinct' will probably be the first song to catch your attention, providing that strong Eastern experience no matter where you are whilst 'Flying' provides the album with the most melodic arrangements, thanks to the sprinkled piano throughout. The piano features regularly on the album, most often played by none other than Yukawa's sister, Cassie. The pair bounce off each other with conviction and mutual understanding, especially in the touching 'La Priere'. The remaining highlight, 'Little Prayer', added as a bonus track, features a beautiful female vocal backdrop, chanting a large way through.

The Butterfly Effect makes no dramatic changes to the typical crossover violinist line-up, but it is a feast for new material; not a 'Kashmir' or 'Adagio For Strings' in sight. Yukawa has not only unique material, largely self-penned, but she certainly has a spice of her own concocting. This album holds content that is dying to be discovered, and it also holds much promise for Yukawa's artistic future. This is a must purchase for the string lover.

Track List
1. Overture (for Noma)
2. Flying
3. Children
4. Sail Into the Sunset
5. My Instinct
6. The Visitor
7. 3000 AD
8. Summer Elergy
9. Magnolia
10. Gone Missing Girl
11. Snow Globe
12. La Priere
13. Lagoon
14. Little Prayer

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