Solarstone's first 'solo' artist album, 'Rain Stars Eternal', is here. Read on to find out how this new album from the legendary producer unfolds...
:: Solarstone - Rain Stars Eternal
02. Part Of Me (Original Mix) (Vocals by Elizabeth Fields)
03. Rain Stars Eternal
04. Late Summer Fields (Vocals by Rich Mowatt)
05. Filoselle Skies (Vocals by Julie Scott)
07. Lunar Rings (Vocals by Essence)
08. Breakaway (Vocals by Alex Karweit)
10. Slave (Vocals by Julie Scott)
11. The Last Defeat Pt. 1
After all the press releases, the singles, the hype, the past decade of hit after hit, Solarstone's first 'solo' artist album is here. After producing for so many years and capturing so many different moods, sounds and styles, it's hard to gauge exactly what to expect from an album such as this. The tracklisting gives away the presence of many vocal tracks from a range of voices - Solarstone included! The product itself carries a clean air of purity though the clear plastic and contrasting combination of white, silver and black.
The album kicks off (after the swirly intro) on an upbeat and melodic note with 'Part Of Me'. The acoustic sounding synths blend magnificently with Elizabeth Fields' clean and clear vocal work, helping to create a summery, easy going feel and setting you up into a very receptive sense, ready for the rest of the album to follow.
The title track, 'Rain Stars Eternal', borrows a lot from the more progressive styles of music. It has an eerie and mysterious essence going on, aided by the ghostly synth. However, there's still a melodic element to be found at its core.
'Late Summer Fields' is where we hear the voice of Solarstone himself. This highly enjoyable track has been championed already by the masses and it flips back to the mood created earlier - summery, light and melodic. It features some really nice piano melodies which give it a deeper edge, providing the element of 'journey' which Solarstone has worked hard for to achieve in this album.
'Filoselle' - A kind of silk thread less glossy than floss, and spun from coarser material (just in case you were wondering!). A very vocal heavy track, this dreamy piece hits home with a seriously chilled vibe. The easy laid back breakbeat and long, deep piano chords take a back seat as Julie Scott's powerful voice leads this one pretty much from start to finish. A stark, poingant piece.
'Spectrum' is one of the few instrumental tracks here. Strong and trancey in nature, this is led by a tough beat, cutting (but gently melodic) synths and some fantastic, airy pads right at the start. This track invigorates itself half way through and becomes energised by a catchy groove and powerful, wooshing fx. Trance anthem in the making? Perhaps...
'Lunar Rings' exudes a lot more energy than previous tracks on this album thanks mainly to the excited, jittering bass synths. An evocative chord progression and smooth, flowing vocals from Essence provide a great layer over the top and help a lot in making this one of the noticeable highlights of the 'Rain Stars Eternal' Journey.
Massive change of style here. 'Breakaway' has a slower pace, a chunky electro sound and feel and features course male vocals from Alex Karweit. The chorus sections carry a more emotional feel, but the verse sections seem to give off a kind of sassy, almost cheeky sense, making this seem like more of a 'song' than the others. Also, on a side note, those who can remember Andreas Johnson - Glorious from 1999 may be reminded of it by this track's hook.
'4Ever', described as a touchstone of the incredible 'Seven Cities', certainly does ring a few familiar bells - especially that lead synth, just wait until you hear it! The track has good pace, a strong beat and lies upon a full bodied bed of sumptuous synths and pads giving a great classic trance feeling. A female vocal element comprised of "oohs" and "aahs" is layered on top and works very well to enhance this uplifting and pretty damn balearic piece.
'Slave' knocks you back to the calm, chilled out sounds again. Again this is heavily vocal oriented and relies mostly on a lone piano to back up the voice of Julie Scott - the second time she's appeared on 'R.S.E.'. Pretty much this is a 'beatless' track. The background is made up of a mesh of sfx and ambiance. Fresh and interesting and a clear lead up to the final track...
'The Last Defeat Pt. 1'. Simply put, a beautiful piece of music. This truly ambient piece is awash with all sorts of acoustic instruments, airy synths and soothing basses. A fantastically musical note to end this masterful album on. It is utterly calming and utterly beautiful.
What a journey! Whilst not following a set 'progression', the 11 tracks on this album unfold in an appealing and sometimes intriguing manner. 'Rain Stars Eternal' is a fantastic showcase of Solarstone's talent as a true musical artist and is highly recommended.