Friday, February 28, 2020

New Japan Pro-Wrestling - The Piano Collection CD


Yamaha (2019)

To those that know me or follow me on Twitter, the fact that I am fairly obsessed with New Japan Pro-Wrestling is not a surprise.  I have been watching it for years and years and they have been a part of some great times in my life.  When this CD was announced towards the end of last year, I pretty much shrugged it off and thought it was a funny idea.  But after I stumbled across the songs and gave them a listen, I knew I had to own this.

This album contains entrance music from New Japan wrestlers, but played on a piano, classical music style.  It really hit me when I listened to this of just how lodged into my brain some of these songs were.  It also hit me that the writing of and musicianship behind these songs was at a much higher level than I originally thought.  When broken down to a single piano, you can really see the complexity of the way lead parts interplay with rumbling low end and chord changes.

Most of the main wrestlers from New Japan have their entrance music represented here.  Pretty much of them work well, with the standouts being the themes of Hiroshi Tanahashi, Hirooki Goto, Tetsuya Naito and Minoru Suziki's classic, "Kaze Ni Nare."  I told my wife that if this CD had been out when we got married, I would have had to try to get Suzuki's theme into our ceremony.  She disagreed with that statement.  I guess we'll never know.

The one instance where I don't think the piano captures the theme as strongly as some of the others is for the entrance music of Kazuchika Okada.  For some reason the piano version just doesn't quite hit the same highs as the regular version of the music.  Something got lost in translation for this one, but for the other eleven songs, it's pretty impressive what the piano player was able to pull off.

Unfortunately, I can't find any of these songs streaming online.

No comments:

Post a Comment