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Kitaro – Final Call review


finalcallIt is actually quite simple; we all need to understand that we can’t continue to treat the Earth and our environment the way we do today. That is also the message on Kitaro’s new album Final Call. Sadly, Kitaro’s call to action that is a lot weaker than expected. We know Kitaro can do so much better.

The environmental treats are real and we all have to do our part. It will take drastic measures. Kitaro had a meeting with Professor Shibata at Kazan Observatory at Kyoto University, nature photographer Toshio Ushiyama and the staff at Nagoya Science Museum, who all showed him just how bad the state of the earth is. This is the inspiration behind Final Call.

No sense of urgency

With such an important message – and with a cover artwork showing melting ice (if that is not a political statement, I don’t know what is) – I was expecting powerful melodies and dramatic arrangements. After all, this is what Kitaro is famous for. Instead we get 10 beautiful, laid back songs. It is not before the very last track, Solar Eclipse, we get a track that communicates the drama that is unfolding in the world around us. And then the album is over.

You can see it in the album’s promo video; this is the last track that is playing. The rest somehow does not match to the album’s theme.

Where are the dark colors?

I’m not saying Final Call is a bad album. It has received great reviews by my colleague on Reviews New Age and many others too. But it is a wasted chance to make an album with a message. Where is the sound of the dying forest, the polluted river or drowning polar bear? You cannot communicate destruction with beautiful art. You have to be loud and use dark colors. That goes for Kitaro too.

There are some great songs here, like Wind from the Desert and the Tangerine Dream inspired Traveler. Kitaro’s many fans will be happy with this material.

I had high hopes for this album, as you understand. Perhaps it is too much to ask for music to change the world. But this is Kitaro and the album’s theme is the most important of all. Of course we could expect something that, through the power of music, opened our eyes – if only just a bit – to the destruction of our grandchildren’s planet.

75/100 – See how we rate music here.

Sample the music here: