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Rain Tree Crow - Rain Tree Crow CD (album) cover


Rain Tree Crow


Crossover Prog

3.55 | 55 ratings

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4 stars Occasionally I'm coming back to this album, as 'Rain Tree Crow' is something for special moments exclusively. This Japan offshoot ... or rebirth ... it's got to be it, right? ... or whatever else ... might be somewhat controversial. David Sylvian himself claims that this production would be his personal favourite of all the material created with these musicians, which are Richard Barbieri, Mick Karn and Steve Jansen basically, as well as several guests. So what's the matter here? The album is the result of mostly improvised sessions at diverse studios situated in France, Italy and the UK, recorded between September 1989 and April 1990 - that means a windfall, if you ask me, roundabout seven years after the official Japan break-up

'I haul you in a sea of silence' - their outcome fascinated me from the beginning - speaking of eclectic styled dark mooded melancholicsongs, pretty much based on a semi-acoustic fundament. It all starts with the space/ethno/jazz fusion blend called Big Wheels In Shanty Town which alone is an astonishing affair - every time I listen to this song I'm quite sure to detect a new facet - guitars, bass, hammond, electric piano, drums, horns and synths - all the ingredients are put together to something challenging. And I still did not mention every component yet - also speaking of some native African female vocal contributions ... and then, just when being on the way to leave the town again, Sylvian joins in with his distinctive signature - a sentimental singing voice which surely plays an important role on this production.

By the way - Blackcrow Hits Shoe Shine City is another exemplar which sheers away from the general course a bit - the clearest reference to a rock music behaviour maybe. I would say the song gets relatively close to the early Porcupine Tree space/ambient phase due to Barbieri's synthesizer presence. Mostly though they slow down, provide an atmosphere hard to place, absolutely unique, in a wider sense akin to some tracks on the latest self-titled SBB album, or the late Talk Talk phase. And I adore this clear sound, man! - just take the folklore as well as classically tinged acoustic guitar on Red Earth, contributed by Phil Palmer.

So this is something for well-adjusted moments only, otherwise it may get you down. You are warned! The ambient atmospheric sound overall, combined with a rather sinister album art work, is not suitable for people who have a tendency to be depressed. This would mean that 'Rain Tree Crow' is something polarizing maybe. According to the motto, either you love it, or you hate it - there's nothing in between. Now you may guess, I love it, yeah, this is a wonderful contribution to my collection which I won't miss, laden with fascinating details, dedicated to a relaxed trip - headphones and full concentration required - and then the album temporarily hijacks me into another dimension, in order to charge my internal battery - 4.5 stars.

Rivertree | 4/5 |


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