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Midnight Sun (Rainbow Band) - Midnight Sun CD (album) cover


Midnight Sun (Rainbow Band)


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.58 | 30 ratings

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4 stars An enigmatic Danish group with a penchant for blending jazzy breaks, psychedelic flourishes and Canterbury- style melodies, Midnight Sun issued a quartet of studio albums during the early-seventies without ever really breaking out of their homeland. Both their underwhelming debut and their final two albums showcased a group still unsure of their overall sound, yet on this second effort from 1971 everything somehow came together rather beautifully, making for one of the key Danish progressive albums of the era. Featuring an elegantly bucolic Roger Dean sleeve, 'Midnight Sun' sounds a little like Caravan jamming it up with both British jazz- rockers If and fellow Danes Ache, showcasing an undeniably talented five-piece who seem comfortable performing within the idioms of both progressive rock and fusion, the whole laced with a jaunty, psychedelic feel. Opening track 'Talking' starts proceedings in engaging style, with catchy guitar riffs underpinning Alan Mortensen's wavering vocals, whilst rockier elements sneak to the fore in both the meaty 'Nobody' and the complex 'Where You Going To be'. However, the album's highlight has to be the roaring fourteen-minute epic 'Living On The Hill'. A searing blend of scorching psych-rock and delicately-hued jazz currents, 'Living On The Hill' features a set of blistering performances from all involved as the churning tides of delicate keyboard textures and rippling guitar squalls constantly chop and change until the grand and fiery finale. Its a highly- satisfying denouement to a true hidden gem of an album, though listeners should be warned not to expect the same from Midnight Sun's other three albums, none of which reach the impressive heights reached here. Just why is a good question with no simple answer. However, despite failing to find both true success or consistency, Midnight Sun did manage to deliver at least one excellent album in the shape of this colourful mixture of cleverly-assembled musical ingredients. Jazzy, complex and adventurous, this a fine album indeed. STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2012
stefro | 4/5 |


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