Cerulean Blue is outstanding. No album has been more creative and outlandish in its ideas and concept within the past five years. Solo artist Rain outdoes himself with lush harmonies, brilliant arrangements, thick, deep-rooted conceptual philosophies. These well-conceived intricacies arise throughout his debut album.
Rain approaches Cerulean Blue, a concept album, in a graceful way, taking special care to construct mood with music while developing the plot with words. The concept itself is uniquely unscathed by the grandiose clichés that dominate the typical "rock opera."
The music weaves tapestries of mood - dark and brooding - building a gentle tension that hooks the listener. In fact, it seems the majority of the album is building, building, building to a dramatic climax.
Cerulean Blue is about a young man named Rick, and his amazing journey across the United States. His story is told through postcards, intercepted by a mysterious man named Mr. Jaeger who is trailing him. Along the way, the listener follows Rick as he meets strange people in bleak situations. At one point, Rick joins a UFO cult, but believes it all nonsense, and leaves just before the group commits mass suicide ("Starcrossed"). The lyrics of Cerulean Blue contain complex symbolism that alludes to the personality of Rick and of Mr. Jaeger. The most intriguing moment of the album may be his encounter with a homeless person on the side of the street, who claims to know the meaning of life, and Rick buys them for a dollar. The album never says what these secrets are, but, in a way, they seem to change Rick, and he regrets not writing them down, as the next day the man died. As Rick saw it, "now no one had the answers." Indeed, one will have to probe the album to experience the record's dramatic close, "Cerulean Blue," if they want to know how the story comes to an end on Alaska's Mt. McKinley.
The music, while not as fanciful as the lyrics, is extremely well performed. Instead of a traditional band or solo artist atmosphere, Cerulean Blue has an orchestral feel, containing woodwinds, strings, and a choir, in addition to Rain's vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards, and drums, which together give the album a very distinct atmosphere. Musically, Rain explores space rock, art rock, and full-on progressive rock.
Cerulean Blue is crafted in a way that sets it apart from concept albums and progressive rock in general. The independent music scene has not seen anything as incredible since the debut of Spock's Beard. The album is available as a free download, as well as the lyrics. With the real album, however, one will get a quality recording of Cerulean Blue (the download on the website is in 96kb) and a 40-page discussion of the concept, and all its ins and outs, philosophical implications, and inspirations. In addition, included with the CD is a 5-minute video pertaining to the concept, entitled "Ashes," the lyrics, and absolutely beautiful cover art at an economic price with nearly overnight shipping. Check out the web site to get the lyrics and free downloads, plus a sample of "Ashes," here.
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