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Rain - Cerulean Blue CD (album) cover

CERULEAN BLUE

Rain

 

Symphonic Prog

3.59 | 51 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

tszirmay
Special Collaborator
Crossover Team
3 stars Rain, hmm Strange name for a musician but I guess it's more a moniker than anything. That is pretty progressive, no? emm...No. But the man is certainly talented, a multi-instrumentalist who can also sing with a highly pleasant voice. So let us move onto the music, as the story seems pretty obscure to me, lots of philosophizing about the human condition, as each piece is introduced by some spoken word references ("Wish You Were Here, Rick"). A jet plane comes screaming in for a landing, you almost expect the first bars of the Beatles "Back in the USSR" but instead, a soft cello/violin/viola lament ushers in the postcard saga involving the travels through America of a dude called Rick and realizing that it's a land of extremes and paradoxes, just like anywhere really, including Eden or Shangri-La when you come to think of it! Piano and atmospherics provide the backdrop for some sad observations on "The Lammas Lands", a teeming Floydian exercise that weaves, soars, ebbs and flows, inexorably growing in exalted fervor, leading to "the Promised Land". "Parsifal" suggests the furious extravagance of New York, the moody saxophone making its sexy appearance, partnered by a massed choir that elevates this to Empire heights, gushing with obvious melancholia, until Rain unleashes a vibrant lead vocal that initiates some immediate goose bumps, especially when the sax underscores the pain with some spirited wailing, then twining with the majestic choir again. Very tasty indeed. "Starcrossed" has some accordion, sounding almost a little folksy, with a hint of psychedelia, only thing missing is a sitar in the background but Rain prefers acoustic guitar and marching drums, relating to a trip to the now "Promised Kingdom". Corny, in my opinion, where is Rick? Lost in Iowa? Not my cup of coffee. Thankfully, the next track "The Silver Apples of the Moon" infuses more Pink Floyd innuendo (together with another "Wish You Were Here, Rick") but plods on without any true explosion even though the mood gets kind a heavy briefly (a ripping guitar solo would have been welcome (to the Machine?). Something is missing here but it is pleasant nevertheless. The following almost 11 minute "Light & Magic" is too lengthy, with little contrast or attention grabbing hooks with subject matter being the crass Hollywoodian dream machine, a long central vocal theme atop a haunting choir mellotron splashed all over the musical "silver screen", slowly spiraling towards a crescendo, with some nifty final action sequence from a suave saxophone and finally, again missing a guitar solo that would of made this so much better. . "Jerusalem" sounds almost like a Roger Waters outtake, verging on plagiarism but with more choir sonics (with a title like that, what would you expect?) attempting to provide the lead vocal with a platform to convince. The lack of dynamism is glaring, good music gone linear, dousing whatever spark that might ignite the senses. The title track "Cerulean Blue" (a beautiful color) is an Alaskan mournful goodbye, "the crows are in the cornfield" Rick says... I agree, while there are a lot of positives with this release, I cannot help feeling that it could have been so much more rewarding. When I first heard it, I was left with a feeling of mysterious lack, like Chinese cuisine and being hungry 30 minutes later. Disappointment looms sadly, just like the despondent Rick, as he delves deeper into the American Dream, which is how I feel about this odd release (or lack of...) I guess prog can be a land of extremes and paradoxes also. 3 slushy drops.
tszirmay | 3/5 |

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