‘The Blue Hour’ Review: Ytsejam
26th August 2012
Putting his own twist on darkened hallowed sound, Rhys Marsh‘s ensemble of para-symponic nu-prog posts a whole new light on questioning what is and what isn’t certain types of music. But as the age old debate reigns in on just about anything that has to do with music, Rhys Marsh And The Autumn Ghost moves forward with The Blue Hour, a collision of melodramatic popular song and parlor song balladry, inundated with psychedelic, ethereal, and atmospheric mannerisms.
Rather than being this self indulgent piece of work, Marsh‘s delicate arrangements of woodwinds, strings, and brass take the center stage, bolstering a more fluid organic vibe as opposed to a synth/solo orgy. The tunage begins to revel in moodiness with post-Bacharach feel found in “Read the Cards” bringing about para-jumpy pop aura, as do the brass band extravaganza “Wooden Heart” and the marching tempo dominated “The Movements of Our Last Farewell” which bring about a psychotic edge to Brill Building tunage. Yet on the darker half of the album it’s much more eased back with sentiment running it’s course as you have the midnight jazz of “Broken Light,” the sorrow filled “The Place Where You Lay,” and “One More Moment,” where the latter could have been a lost track that could have otherwise bridge the gap between Sgt. Peppers… & The White Album.
A acquired taste this may be, as it sways progressive rock in directions beyond clichés; but, it’s unique, challenging, and intriguing. Hints of Nosound, Anathema, & No-Man come to mind as do the fabulously tragic edge of Nick Drake, the hallowed edginess of The Velvet Underground, & the daring experimentalism of King Crimson.