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Richard Wright - Broken China CD (album) cover

BROKEN CHINA

Richard Wright

 

Crossover Prog

3.99 | 146 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
3 stars 3.5 stars. This is a mature work that is both dark and emotional, and moves quite slowly, especially the first half of the record. The subject matter is very personal, and is about the clinical depression that Richard's wife has been fighting for many years. Of course Richard's life has been affected in a major way by this affliction. The cover of the album is fantastic as it shows a woman diving into a pool of water, and her front half is breaking up (broken china), while on the back cover it's the other way around as she's diving back out and her front half is back to normal (healing). Yes this story fortunately has a good ending !

This story is told in four sections of four songs.The first section deals with her childhood and the abuse she experienced. A line in "Hidden Fear" says "This pain no child should feel". The second section deals with her womanhood, and trying to come to terms with her abuse.The third section reveals her breakdown and pain.The final section deals with her recovery and healing. Richard's vocals remind me of a cross between David Gilmour and Andy Latimer.

The first two songs blend together as one. Opening with thunder and rain depicting the storm she was experiencing as Richard's sad vocals come to the fore. "Hidden Fear" opens with the sound of a child's music box, and as this song plays out i'm reminded of ANATHEMA. "Runaway" and "Unfair Ground" feature samples of eerie noises in a dark soundscape. "Satellite" is more uptempo with the drums leading the way. "Woman Of Custom" features vocals, synths, acoustic guitar and drums.

"Interlude" is a slow, haunting piano melody.This atmosphere continues in "Black Cloud" with spooky sounds. "Far From The Harbour Wall" is just plain sad, while "Drowning" has no words. Gulp. Yes this is emotional. "Reaching For The Rail" features the amazing vocals of Sinead O'Connor acting as Richard's wife. She also sings on the final, uplifting tune "Breakthrough", in both songs her vocals are reserved. "Blue Room In Venice" is a depressingly slow song with Richard's emotional vocals that blend into "Sweet July" an instrumental with guitar melodies. "Along The Shoreline" is catchy with some PINK FLOYD moments. This reminds me of the "Division Bell" that came out just before this release.

This is a journey that for the most part is sad and dark, but this is real life and i'm sure there was some more healing for Richard as he made this record.

Mellotron Storm | 3/5 |

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