Light, unassuming, modest, natsukashii...singer/songwriter Akeboshi Yoshio is the very definition of down-tempo, earnest folk tunes. Far from other more experimental folk artists like Shugo Tokumaru who use electronics to add a unique texture to their pallet, Akeboshi sticks strictly to the well worn sounds of acoustic guitars, strings and piano, only rarely dipping to synthetic sounds. This also fits the overall feel to his music, which is equally calming, clear and to the point. Far from a solo artist, Akeboshi brings in a full band on most songs, though many of his songs sound as if they'd translate just as well with just a piano or guitar.
While the instrumentation on his albums may be standard fair, he does have a wide range of stylistic influences. Having studied music in England, he brings bits of the U.K., the U.S., Japan and even Ireland into his own work, flitting between Simon & Garfunkel, Pink Floyd, John Denver, Sting, traditional Irish folk tunes and occasionally The Beatles (of course.) He also gives equal opportunity to both English and Japanese lyrics. His voice is rather mid-ranged, a little muddy, never straying too high and certainly never dipping down low. Much like his music, he never tries too hard to show off, simply adding another layer to the hazy golden glow and allowing the music to simply flow along gently.
He's probably best know for his songs “Wind” and "Yellow Moon,” both used in Naruto. Both of these are far from what one might expect from the hugely popular ninja anime series, though “Yellow Moon” is just about as close to a rock song as you'll find in the Akeboshi discography. Still, it was a move the undoubtedly brought in a few new fans. The popularity of the songs didn't seem to change the course of his music writing though, as following releases stuck to the same mostly down-tempo path. This new expose to over-eager fans may have also started the misconception that he writes in odd time signatures almost exclusively, which is far from reality. “Wind” is indeed in 5/4, but the majority of his songs are in a regular 4/4 or 3/4, far from unique and certainly nothing new to his brand of calming folk songs.
While he may not be an instant attention grabbing artist, there's a lot to like about Akeboshi. While he may stick to overly user-friendly territory, the songs are nice enough and certainly not offensively saccharine or cute and whispery. He walks the fine line between melancholy and overly positive schmaltz, something that keeps one both interested enough to continue listening and just sleepy enough to not want to get up and change the disc.