Kitaro is an amazingly talented individual. He has been one of the world's premier electronic composers and performers for decades. During that time, he has created some of the most memorable music in the new age community. His output has been both prolific and consistent. It is difficult to review his albums because they only compare to each other. Tenku is a brilliantly lyrical yet entirely instrumental CD. Kitaro speaks volumes with his synthesizers. These romantic interludes are full of gentle melodies and lush synth washes. The atmospheres are vibrant and bold. They are connected by wispy drones. There are no dark overtones or edges; this is upbeat, pastoral ambience. There are few similar artists, but fans of Vangelis, Suzanne Ciani, Constance Demby, and Dean Evenson are likely to enjoy Kitaro's music as well.
The Light of the Spirit is one of Kitaro's best CDs. Perhaps it is because Mickey Hart co-produced, or perhaps Kitaro asked Hart to co-produce because it is so good. It doesn't really matter if either of those is the reason; this is just an awesome CD. Kitaro's specialty has always been the symphonic synth and this is no exception. He augments that synth with several guest musicians on a variety of ambient instruments. This is truly ambient music, albeit on the new age side of that style. The vocal accompaniment by Lynn Ray and Jeannie Tracy counts as instrumental as well. The sound design treats the wordless vocals as an extra sound to incorporate. David Jenkins contributes a smoking electric guitar that gives this rock & roll textures as well. This disc stands proudly with work by Constance Demby, Vangelis, Suzanne Ciani, and Dean Evenson as some of the best adult contemporary instrumental new age music.