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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

R-A-N-M-A
4 stars If I was going to rate an album only based on its concept, the profundity of Cerulean Blue would easily warrant five stars. I have yet encounter another album whose concept is simultaneously so deep, so well realized, so multi-faceted and yet so understandable. The mechanism by which this is all possible are the detailed narrations which precede each of the tracks. The most superficial layer of the story is in seven postcards which chronicle Rick, a young Brit's, journey across the United States from New York to LA and up to Alaska. Following each of the post cards a now older and much less optimistic Rick, Mr. Yeager, retraces his footsteps and provided his weathered and jaded addendums. The juxtaposition between old and new is a constant on the album.

Deeper yet, the album dissects the United States and the American dream from a very British perspective. Our narrator is actually Rob Brown a British born jazz man who now lives in New York City. Many British metaphors are used most overly Avalon and Jerusalem (as in the Hymn). Ultimately the evaluation proves a bit unkind.

Further on down, it's simple to note a third duality; that between reality and fantasy. Each of the first 6 tracks focus on a form of escape: utopianism, myth and dreams, death, space travel, Hollywood and religion. These notions much more than the old/new concept form the basis for the songs themselves. On the seventh track Rick decides to face reality at the top of Mount McKinley in Alaska, North America's highest peak.

I dare say there's likely even more to it, but I may not be properly equipped to delve into that. Shades of Kierkegaard's material, moral and spiritual phases of life creep in and there is explicit mention of Karl Jung. Other subtle references like the opening rain (also the name of the band) and closing wind and snow are riddled throughout. If you are looking for an intellectual and continually engrossing listening experience look no further.

Notice how I said listening rather than musical. The thing with Cerulean Blue is that so much of the delivery is through the narrative to the point that the songs almost come off as an afterthought. They are for the most part mellow, psychedelic and a little depressing, but they aren't same-y. All 6 of the songs are quite good in my opinion. The seventh track has a little music, but it's mostly narrative and it concludes with an unfortunate three minutes of swirling winds.

The highlights of the album are the uplifting "Jerusalem" and "the silver apples of the moon" which is delightfully loaded with references to the geography of the moon. The nice thing is that these tracks don't simply blow the rest of the album away. It is very consistent, and consistently good at that.

So where does that leave us? As if it wasn't all astounding enough. Rain isn't even really the work of a band, it's mostly just one guy who wrote the whole thing and played pretty much all the instruments. Cerulean Blue is a dense but rewarding concept album which is best listened to as a whole. In one final duality, the weight of the concept is also juxtaposed against the almost weightless music. Who would I recommend it for? Anyone. Give this one a go. Even if you don't end up liking it I think you'll want to have heard it. For my part I think there are a few glaring flaws in the delivery especially in the almost needless 7th track, but it doesn't stop me from really liking this album. I can't go far enough to call it essential but its damn close. Four out of Five.

P.S. The best line of the album is on the 7th track. "I'm going out now. I may not be back for some time."

R-A-N-M-A | 4/5 |

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