vrijdag 13 maart 2020

Rose. Lian Ray

It was on a beautiful day just before the summer holiday that I visited the Snowstar Records head quarters. Lian Ray was about to release a beautiful single, 'Mateo', which is on Rose, of course.

I was there to shake hands and buy a copy of Donna Blue's second EP. Got the latest The Fire Harvest LP as well. Carton boxes with LPs were opened and out came Rose. No, I could not buy a copy, but it was a nice story to write, I thought; only it wasn't. I was asked to take it out of the 'Mateo' review, as the album had not even been announced. And then the release was delayed from November to mid March.

What the story shows is how much needs to be invested up front in the music industry before the first returns come in. The albums have been gathering dust for about 8 months and take up storage space. The wait is over though and it has been more than worth the while. Rose is a beautiful album. One of the finest Snowstar has released over the years I'm following the label.

The music on Rose was recorded even longer ago. In the bio it says 2013. Lian Ray's story is one of entering the darkest sub layers of life. A life totally derailed it seems and the music more or less laid by the wayside, forgotten. The fact that Rose is finally seeing the light, shows Lian Ray is back on his feet and walking forward in life once more.

With his light, slightly hesitating voice, he sets a melancholy mood for Rose. The mood is not so much downcast, as resigned, certainly glum. Nothing is well on Rose. Life, relation and the very core of things are broken and not to be mended. The broken pieces are pushed into the ears of the listener. Only time passing ever so slowly can perhaps glue them together. 'Mateo' is the standard of everything broken on Rose.

That time passing is a part of the music on Rose. Where all appears relatively normal. A guitar, drums, bass, are the heart of Rose. The keyboards really make the accents on the album. A few, slow, single notes and/or a carpet of long-held chords. In most songs these are the elements sticking out. Listen deeper and more comes forward, like e.g. percussion or a few lead guitar notes and accented rhythm playing. When listening past this relatively normal presentation, paying attention to the lyrics, singer and music blend into a world of sadness.

When all is said and done, it is that mellow, resigned mood that makes or breaks Rose. I love to wallow in it every once in a while. To totally undergo the sound and mood. It is so easy to lose myself in it.

Lian Ray is years further in life than the music he is finally able to share with the world. So it will be interesting to learn what he will come up with next. In the meantime I am, a bit embarrassed, enjoying the sadness that this singer-songwriter shares with the world. And kind people at Snowstar, keep me that copy I couldn't buy last year!


You can buy Rose here:


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