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Pure Reason Revolution - Eupnea CD (album) cover

EUPNEA

Pure Reason Revolution

 

Crossover Prog

4.00 | 238 ratings

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A Crimson Mellotron
Prog Reviewer
4 stars A pleasant, eclectic, beautifully written and exquisitely performed album that is above all an intense emotional ride from start to finish, this is Pure Reason Revolution's fourth studio release, the pretty excellent and always impressive 'Eupnea', with its elegant and slightly surrealistic cover art. Released in 2020, after some ten years of silence, this very peculiar prog band (it is quite hard to define what category they fit into best but prog seems to be a very good way to describe all the movements in this album) releases out of nowhere one of the most impressive albums of the last couple of years, on Inside Out Music - and I dare to say that this band is one of the most valuable signings on the label at all.

Comprised of the duo of Jon Courtney and Chloe Alper, Pure Reason Revolution have gone through some various phases and therefore, different musical approaches, despite the small number of albums to their name (to be precise, three, excluding this one) - presenting a Floydian sound that has a bit of a Porcupine Tree-ish edge on their debut, following up this one with a record that introduced a more pop sensibility, and finally arriving at what is generally considered a disappointment but is a part of their catalogue, the electronic and almost synth-pop rock inclinations of 'Hammer and Anvil'. Then there is 2020's 'Eupnea' that seems to combine all of these aforementioned aspects in PRR's musical pedigree, twists them around and presents them in the most beautiful manner possible, with such nuancing, depth, and mystery, that the listener is left craving more, somehow compelled by the darkness of the record but also enthralled by the magical subtlety and the gorgeous sounds. Not to mention that stunning vocal performances by both Jon Courtney and Chloe Alper, experienced best in the parts where both of them sing in harmony.

Sensual, eclectic, futuristic, gloomy, passionate, both gentle and heavy on several occasions, one could easily see that this album kind of has it all. The magic, I believe, is mostly experienced on the longer tracks - these are, of course, the 10-minute 'Silent Genesis', a slowly unfolding explosion of sounds that will leave every prog afficionado's ears in a state of milky orgasm, 'Ghosts & Typhoons', a heavier composition, another very intricate and well performed piece, full of various twists and turns along the way; Perhaps it is the vocals that impress the most on this track; and finally, the 13-minute title track, another intense ride through the world of Pure Reason Revolution. The shorter tracks are no less excellent, we have to mention, as the album opener 'New Obsession' sets a fantastic tone for the whole album, 'Maelstrom' is a great, almost sing-along, prog-pop number, one of the best and most enjoyable ones I have heard in recent years, and 'Beyond Our Bodies' is a sweet little song that provides a softer experiencing in the heavier atmosphere set by the preceding song 'Ghosts & Typhoons'. Simply, this album has to be heard in its entirety, in order for it to make sense and for the listener to experience the full beauty of the subtlety and the gorgeous songwriting.

Lovely work, an excellent addition to any prog fan's collection, and not only! This is one of these records that could easily attract people into the genre, because while it is very subtle and eclectic, it is also a pretty accessible one for progressive rock's standards, it has a poppier edge and that is fantastic, as one would hardly ever regret spending time with it. In a word, 'Eupnea' is excellent!

A Crimson Mellotron | 4/5 |

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