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(38 min, 'NC')
TRACK LIST: 1. Rainstorm 7:47 2. The Rain Remembers 4:03 3. Last Orders 4:13 4. November Song 3:31 5. 3 a.m. Song 3:23 6. Heaven 4:32 7. Wearing My Heart 3:52 8. Rainstorm II 6:59 All tracks: by Campbell. Produced by A Fernihough. LINEUP: Neil Campbell - classical, acoustic & KAOSS guitars; Wurlitzer; vocals Stuart Todd - vocals; acoustic guitar Mark Brocklesby - drums Liam Carey - bass Nicole Collarbone - cello Claire Jones - vocals
Prolusion. This is my first acquaintance with the creation of THE NEIL CAMPBELL COLLECTIVE from the UK.
Analysis. "3 O'clock Sky" opens with great promise during the introduction of the first track, Rainstorm. Thunder rolls and launches Spanish style classical guitar work and some very insistent, but tastefully restrained driving drums. The playing is first rate. Once the vocals begin, the hopes of anything particularly progressive dim. The vocal melody (with the doleful, somewhat cynical lyrics) is cut more from the cloth of yesterday's alternative rock, which has become today's mainstream. Campbell's voice is pleasant, strong and distinctive and Nicole Collarbone's cello along with the acoustic guitar gives the music warmth, but most compositions do not progress beyond a mainstream folk flavored alternative rock song format. The beginning of Wearing My Heart utilizes a bit of sound effects, a bottle being opened and poured. Still, this does not constitute anything progressive. Rainstorm Part 2 is, however, the progressive highlight on the album. It is the one instrumental cut and makes me hope that The Neil Campbell Collective will pursue more instrumental music and leave standard song structures behind. The classical guitar reintroduces the theme with some backward loop effects during the intro, a beautiful, haunting melody. Besides the guitar work, both electric and acoustic, the drumming is especially good.
Conclusion. What seemed promising during the introduction of Rainstorm comes to fruition on Part 2. Hopefully this is a sign of what may come from the band in the future.
KW: Agst 12, 2005
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