Artist: RA (Toru Yonaha & Masahiro Nitta)
Album: “XROSSING VIEW”
Record Label: Sony Music Direct (Japan) Inc.
Catalog #: MHCL-541
- Tiida Kanashi
- Sora no Chizu
- Aki no Sora
Anyone with an interest in Okinawan shimauta and/or Okinawan pop music (O-Pop) will no doubt have an album or two from Tooru Yonaha on their CD album shelves and if you’ve heard of RA, give yourself a pat on the back. This, 2005’s “XROSSING VIEW”, is RA’s second album with their debut album “Takumi” — a collection of J-Pop covers — having been released in 2004 but I’m getting ahead of myself aren’t I? Let’s first learn a little bit about RA. At the start we mentioned Tooru Yonaha’s name so of course we already know that he’s somehow involved with RA so let’s put in another name: Masahiro Nitta, a Tsugaru Shamisen player.
The great thing about this collaboration is that we have a chance to hear a sanshin and a shamisen on the same tracks from two young musicians who are well on their way to greatness and I’ll bet that you’ll be listening intently as you try to pick out which instrument is which. The cool thing about this album is that it’s made up of orignal compositions and for me, the ones that really stand out are the tracks with Tooru’s vocals which add a deeper feeling that’s missing from the instrumental tracks (which aren’t too shabby either but hey, this is just my opinion as a sanshin player).