Sweetest Day - Romance For Strings / Chieko Kinbara

Release Date: April 23, 2008

Track Listing

  1. Sweetest Day Of May feat. Kimara Luvlace
  2. Romance For Strings
  3. 7 Days
  4. Live Your Life Today
  5. Spanish Blues
  6. Changed My Life
  7. Fiddle Magic
  8. Setting Sun feat. Roland Clark
  9. Mystery Girl feat. Byron Stingily

Review

Chieko Kinbara is a violinist whose string arrangements can be heard on many familiar albums such as Namie Amuro’s Sweet 19 Blues, Do As Infinity’s True Song and on singles such as m-flo’s remix of Hikaru Utada’s Distance and Hitomi’s Kimi ni Kiss.  As a solo artist she has released 5 albums including the double CD release this album is from (Night & Day).

The sound of this album is for the most part uplifting Soulful House music (with the exception of Spanish Blues which is more like a Latin salsa type of song) featuring a number of heavyweights from the genre such as Byron Stingily, Roland Clark, DJ Spen and Kimara Luvlace.

The House meets violin concept was something developed on her fourth album Strings of Life.  If you’ve heard tracks from that album such as If You Only, Time To Love or Stay With Me then you’ll have an idea of what the songs here will sound like. For those of  you who haven’t had the pleasure of hearing that album you’re in for a treat on this one.

The one thing that’s most noticeable about the songs here are that the violin is front in center. Second there are a lot of sweet House cuts for the discerning listener (and DJ) to pick from. The ones that standout the most are Romance For Strings, 7 Days, Changed My Life and Setting Sun.

Romance For Strings melds Daishi Dance’s lush melodic productions with Kinbara’s string arrangements to make for a sweet instrumental track.  7 Days is a peak-time vocal track built upon a foundation of a piano melody, string stabs and a driving beat.

Changed My Life is a Gospel House track that features the violin and high energy vocals. The funny thing is that the combo works. I never thought a violin would work in that  context but it does.

The most interesting track has to be a cover of the Chemical Brothers Setting Sun. The original was a frantic break beat song whereas the version on this album is a bit closer to a piano driven Funky House track. Definitely a different and pleasing interpretation.

Overall a great collection House tracks and something worth investing some time listening to if you like something a little bit different from the typical 4 on the floor productions.

Sweetest Day – Romance For Strings (Japan Version)