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saigonbluerain pinkobsession
Artist: Saigon Blue Rain
Title: Pink Obsession
Genre: Darkwave / Ethereal
Release Date: 25th April 2019
Label: Dichronaut Records


Album Review

Once going by the somewhat misleading but still rather excellent name STUPID BITCH REJECT, French duo SAIGON BLUE RAIN have now perfected and energised their take on Darkwave and Ethereal Pop, on album number three, ‘Pink Obsession’. There’s always been a tendency to pigeon-hole dark bands with female singers into “sounds like SIOUXSIE” or “sounds like COCTEAU TWINS”, which is unfair and dismissive, and SAIGON BLUE RAIN - while happy to namecheck their influences - exist somewhere all of their own.

What becomes apparent from the first few seconds of opener ‘BPD’ is a new found synth-led urgency and tightness that makes this possibly SAIGON BLUE RAIN’s finest Pop moment so far, dancing and sparkling like eighties FLEETWOOD MAC. ‘We Ask For Pain’ is more familiar territory, but the toning back on the wash of guitars - a trademark SBR sound - and the inclusion of more synths allows the fine vocals more space to breathe than previously. Patiently letting the layers unfold on ‘The Valley Knows All My Secrets’ is key, it’s gorgeous and complex, dense but never overloaded, and on ‘Carillon Heart’ things sway and swell beautifully, like late period ALL ABOUT EVE.

The album’s title track comes wrapped in handclaps and dreamy vocals, sashaying about the place like a swan on roller-skates, whereas ‘Incantation’ is a more sombre affair, mournful and spiritual and utterly spellbinding. And it’s these contrasts that make ‘Pink Obsession’ such an important album for the band, showing depth and variation and a willingness to always test the waters and not just splash in the shallows.

‘2.16’ occasionally sounds like it’s nodding off, but there’s still enough interesting little touches at play to keep it afloat, and the fabulous ‘Incubus Mine’ soon jolts things back into life. And to close the album, ‘Solstice’ burns slowly into something majestic, a gnarly piece of bass driving things forwards, crashing percussion, ethereal synths fluttering in an out, and then suddenly it’s over, resisting what must have been a temptation to really go for something vast and epic. It wouldn’t have suited them - SBR know exactly how to pitch their mini-dramas, and how to control the ebb and flow of emotion and atmosphere.

This is a fine album, by a band who - like all good artists and musicians - continue to develop their craft, knowing that what they have is already a good thing, but feeling restless and adventurous enough to keep pushing their boundaries and exploring what they find there.


Tracklist

01. BPD
02. We Ask For Pain
03. The Valley Knows All My Secrets
04. Carillon Heart
05. Pink Obsession
06. Incantation
07. 2:16
08. Incubus Mine
09. Solstice


Line-up


Ophelia Lecomte
Franck Pelliccioli

Extra live members: Gilles Facquet (bass), Chollet Mathieu (guitar/synth), Dorian Mansiaux (drums)


Website

https://saigonbluerain.bandcamp.com / https://www.facebook.com/SBRofficial


Cover Picture

saigonbluerain pinkobsession


Rating

Music: 8
Sound: 8
Total: 8 / 10




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