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


Rain Tree Crow


Crossover Prog

3.54 | 53 ratings

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Prog Metal Team
4 stars File under Japan. Or wait no, don't file it there at all!

In the 10 years that separate this album from Tin Drum, each of the Japan members had been involved in solo careers and the fields of music they engaged in during those years made entirely different musicians from them. So when they teamed up again to create this record something entirely new emerged from it. No wonder they decided not to go under the Japan banner any more.

Gone is everything that linked Japan to the art-rock and new wave of the early 80's. Sylvian's vocals have dropped another octave and the music has become much more atmospheric, jazzy, free and exploratory. This album contains a kind of musical soundscapes, with a slowly creeping intensity that gets under your skin right when you expected to doze off. There still are some Japan traits, especially the Cantonese influences that pop up in tracks like New Moon and Blackcrow still remind us of Tin Drum. But the grown musical confidence of the band makes these pieces work better for me then on the somewhat contrived Tin Drum album.

After a very strong start, the quality sinks in a bit after track 8 and it doesn't fully recover again. The material becomes more experimental and almost entirely instrumental, as if Sylvian had already turned his back on his colleagues again. On tracks 10,11 and 12, his soulful breathy croon is surely missed.

File under latter day Talk Talk, sung by Sylvian, and played by Japan. Beautiful piece of work.

Bonnek | 4/5 |


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