Alessandro Takeshi’s latest release, an album titled ‘We Could Be Friends’ is a rediscovery of self and origins, through a significant change in address and in a musical style that sees the artist embrace a sound that he never approached, and somewhere along the road, making it completely his.
Born and raised in rural Maine, Alessandro Takeshi has left behind where he was born, and with it his repertoire as an experimental electronic musician, in a journey to rediscover his Japanese roots. The journey sees him brandish a warm and smoky upright piano as he performs in Tokyo’s acoustic taverns, birthing this new sound of his that he immediately owns.
We could be friends is an album of acoustic, soulful, piano-driven pop of a style that’s growing rarer by the day. An album of singer/songwriter material that sees Alessandro take a vocal approach to his songwriting, creating dynamic melodies and atmospheres that are populated by his upbeat singing, lush compositions, and rich vocal layering.
Among the album’s highlights are the album’s first and title song. With a stellar vocal delivery from Takeshi, the song’s psychedelic guitar lines and uncommon-sounding chords make it an instantly compelling piece of music, and its sound as a piano-driven piece of pub pop makes it even more interesting and entertaining. The mid-album centerpiece Rat Race is a composed and arranged piece of cinematic pop that could easily fit into a coming-of-age, high-budget, Hollywood musical. Sweet composition, a fulfilling arrangement with satisfying-sounding guitars, and a nuanced performance on the piano make this piece a nostalgia-triggering hit. The penultimate ‘A Reactionary Year’ is an immediate 50s summoner. With vocal Doo-doos and a gospel-inspired composition, the lively rhythm of the piece makes it a breeze to dance to, and its jangly rhythm guitars are sweetly overdriven.
Alessandro Takeshi’s debut as a Japan-based pianist, singer, and songwriter brings us a unique face of an outstanding musician that’s unlike anything we’ve heard for a long time, yet sounds instantly recognizable with its warmth and good intentions. ‘We Could Be Friends’ is engaging listen from start to finish, and with its rich mix and tight production, it is an easy recommendation for a spot of vintage-inspired pop.