Rain Machine - Rain Machine Album Review
Hare Krishna meets Jimi Hendrix to perform like an electrified Devendra Banhart on acid, with occasional percussion accompaniment from MicaChu. Ok, so it's not all like that (Actually only once!), but the best track on the album, 'Give Blood', is, and although the rest of the album never gets this energetic again, it is a thoroughly fantastic album.
This is Kyp Malone's debut solo album, his previous work having been as vocalist and guitarist for the much lauded, TV On The Radio. Kyp has obviously put 'his all' into this project, from the Henri Rousseau meets Gustav Klimt inspired cover art (Painted by him), to the rich, individual, sometimes stunning, sometimes sublime, song creations. Kyp's voice, a thing of true beauty, depth and range perfectly delivers with angst, agony and honesty each track. Travelling effortlessly between an ever so slightly twisted and affected falsetto, to a full blown rock squall, Kyp's vocal delivery conveys so emotively each piece.
A little bit Country, a little bit Blue Grass, a little bit Rock, a little bit Alternative. All very fresh, innovative, moody, atmospheric and extremely enjoyable. Kyp manages to create a fabulous collage of vistas using multiple over layered harmonies and particularly inspired, and cleverly chosen, instrumentation. (He could ease up on the sleigh bells!) There's the occasional female backing, or accompanying, vocal and many delightful surprises. In parts it is a mesmerising album that keeps on giving up new delights on each hearing. He's not been afraid to explore and indulge himself either, there are 3 tracks on here of eight minutes or more. Each has been lovingly crafted and none of it is wasted. There are touches of Led Zep, complete with cow bell, on 'Desperate Bitch' (A track which even starts as if it's about to kick into Unbilo Titled by Babyshambles), and even traces of The Doors 'This Is The End' on Driftwood Heart, but, for all it's influence and reference there is no doubting the overall quality and individuality of this album.
I'm sure everyone who listens to this album could give you a different variation on what constitutes his best work. For me, 'Give Blood' and 'Desperate Bitch' aside, 'Smiling Black Faces' is a hard one to resist. It's a beautifully sung, gentle, inspiring and touching track that builds and builds. The whole album is a joy, and one of the best I've heard this year. Kyp has set a bench mark on his first solo sortie that will be difficult to replicate, in the mean time just enjoy what he has produced here, an extraordinary and exquisite treat.
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