‘The Blue Hour’ Review: Music Waves
11th September 2012
The Blue Hour is the third album from Rhys Marsh, accompanied by his Autumn Ghost group, which varies from one production to another. For this new album, the Norwegian, involved particularly in The Opium Cartel, is surrounded by new collaborators also native to Norway, as he notes in his press release.
The music on The Blue Hour exhales a constant melancholy, with a wooly atmosphere, whether in intimate parts worthy of the last productions of Talk Talk (Broken Light), or in more intensive choruses. The presence of traditional wind instruments – flute, trumpet, bassoon, oboe or clarinet – gives the album a particular colour, that one would attach gladly to typical endless summer days, under northern latitudes.
It’s difficult to describe precisely the type of music played by Rhys Marsh, as it’s timeless and ethereal, transporting the listener into a state of melancholic reverie. The term ‘art-rock’ may, however, be best to characterise the eight compositions on The Blue Hour, which sway between jazzy instrumental passages with crescendos, and intimate vocals with stripped-down accompaniments. Everything is done with a confining aesthetic minimalism, and assembled with a pinpoint accuracy, which slows somewhat the onset of strong emotions.
However, music lovers who favour introversion and poetic escape should not ignore these compositions of meditative inspiration, which take over the work of a certain Mark Hollis.