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Pearls Before Swine - Tom Rapp: Sunforest CD (album) cover

TOM RAPP: SUNFOREST

Pearls Before Swine

 

Prog Folk

3.08 | 5 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars Recorded at the same time in Nashville and with roughly the same personnel (whoever in that scene was present in the studios, apparently) as his previous album, Stardancer, Sinforest is a bit different, partly due to the Aphex audio processing system. Personally, I'd be hard pressed to explain the difference, but apparently the professional spotted it immediately. This album was to be Rapp's last one for three decades, but unlike its predecessor, he made sure that the Pearls Before Swine name was appearing on the front artwork (the pink badge on the hat)

If sonically different (let's admit it), in these ears, it's mostly in terms of the track list. SD was had a few covers, SF is all original songs, but some are reminiscent of the other release, like the album-opening track Coming Back and its Caribbean percussions. The short following Prayer Of Action is apparently an inspiring track for many people, and it comes with string arrangements. Things get a little deeper with the sombre Forbidden City, with hypnotizing climates reminiscent of Balaklava or Use Of Ashes. Rapp answers a Stephen Stills preoccupation in the following Love/Sex song, and Harding Street seems to be inspired from Leonard Cohen.

Opening the flipside, Blind River is a quiet but mesmerizing ambiance, where flutes and bowed bass make up the background of the intro, before the song slowly picks up momentum via percussions and string arrangements. The following Some Place To Belong is an up-tempo affair where an organ hold the centre stage with fast percussion and Tom's guitar. The title track is again looking backwards to the PBS's earlier albums' ambiances, but with a Cohen vocal delivery. The closing Sunshine & Charles is the least interesting track of the album.

Both SD and SF have received Cherrty Red records reissues with some interesting liner notes, but none are essential in Rapp's PBS discography, though there are three worthy songs on each. In the present case, Forbidden City, Blind River and Sunforest are the better ones, and compared to SD, thankfully, there are no obvious Nashville influences, and that tilts the balance in SF's favour.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |

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