Three Colours Dark is the new band by singer/songwriter Rachel Cohen (ex-Karnataka and The Reasoning) and musician/songwriter Jonathan Edwards (ex-Karnataka, Panic Room and Luna Rossa). I had the pleasure to review their debut last year and I was quite pleased by what I heard. In my review, I compared them to a sweet version of Yes or a poppy version of Renaissance, regarding the vocals and also musically.
On their second album Love's Lost Property Rachel Cohen (vocals) and Jonathan Edwards (keyboards) are joined by Dave Gregory (guitars), Tim Hamill (guitars, bass, drum programming), Steve Balsamo (vocals), Kate Ronconi (violin), Steve Simmons (saxophone), Catherine Tanner-Williams (oboe) and Andy Coughlan on bass.
The rather long title track (which in fact is the album's longest piece) opens the album very symphonic with violin and floating keys. Then there is a Pink Floyd kind of guitar and Rachel's voice comes in. She sounds a bit melancholy. There is more Floyd in the guitar solo later on. A great opener and one of my favourites from the band.
The second track, Dark Before Dawn, just sweeps you along with a pearly sound. What a great song! Lovely instrumental section in the second part.
After that the beautiful Requiem falls a bit short. Beautiful, classically oriented, but a bit calm and much of the same. Although the oboe halfway through is enchanting.
Last Day On Earth is also quite held back with Rachel in a central role. The atmosphere of the track is quite fitting to the weather outside my window while I am writing these lines: 10 cm of snow and more falling. The song captures really well that slow movement of snow flakes and the dampened sound from outside. Lovely guitar solo - again Floydy. Ah, and there is a widdly keyboard part in the background towards the end. I love those.
When we reach Wish I Wished You Well, I feel that I get a bit unrested. Last time, I complained that sometimes, the music is a bit too sweet maybe. And yes, it is. They just don't break loose but stick to a slow tempo. Beautiful and through the use of instruments such as piano and violin organic, but please people can you once in a while let go?
Luckily, The Circus brings a bit more tempo and some groove plus occasionally some electric piano. Shame about the carnival sounds at the end. These will be annoying over time.
Quite surprising is the appearance of a cover of what is my favourite Duran Duran track. It is played a bit slower than the original. Love the violin. While Simon Le Bon may not be the world's greatest singer, I miss his voice. Rachel sounds a bit too smooth while Simon has a vulnerability that is missing here. A good cover of a great song, but I wonder a bit why they included this on the album. I understand that they released it as a single, which is cool, but it's a bit misplaced here. Even though it fits soundwise. If that makes any sense to you. What I mean to say that I question its presence conceptually, but the sound suits for example very well with Dark Before Dawn. It's even as if that song has been inspired by Ordinary World to some degree.
After this we get one more song before a short reprise of the title track closes the album. Eye For An Eye starts with a threatening bit of keyboards. Quite nice. The song is a bit darker than the others on the album, but that only suits the title of course. Nice build up with saxophone towards the end. The end might be the most powerful part of the album. More of that please in the future! This is another favourite of mine.
Another fine album by Three Colours Dark. I could wish for a bit more spirit in the middle part, but all in all it leaves me satisfied and it is a very good companion on these winter days.
***+ Carsten (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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