'Caldera' by Raina Rose - something intangible yet accessible(July 23, 2013)
There’s undeniable warmth, relaxed understanding and something rather special that mixes poetic lyrics and gentle melodies – that’s ‘Caldera’ from Raina Rose. There are albums to dance to, albums to sing to and albums that seduce you into a favourite chair to watch the sun slide away on a warm summer evening, that’s ‘Caldera’.
‘Caldera’ has the latent power of honey smooth vocals and lightly applied harmonies woven through subtle melodies – from the murmuring intensity of ‘Secret’, through the softly reflective ‘Woodsmoke’ complete with folk choir, to the ‘spoken’ vocals and seductive strings of ‘Swing Wide the Gates’ – they’re a perfect introduction to this album. Even when there’s a stronger drive and more buoyant delivery such as ‘I Lost It’ with its questing lyrics, the tenderness pervades; while the sense of space within ‘Badlands’ amplifies through finely placed lap steel accents, then for my money ‘Apostle’ encapsulates all that this album has to offer and it’s delicious.
On ‘Caldera’ there’s Raina Rose (vocals, acoustic guitars) plus the talents of Danny Malone (keyboards, pianos, acoustic guitars) Robin MacMillan (drums, percussion, crotales, shakers, tambourine) and on selected tracks John Elliot (piano) Chris Cox (melodica) Colin Brooks (lap steel) Anthony da Costa (guitar) Scrappy Jud Newcomb (electric guitar) with Paul Curreri, Danny Malone and Grace Park (vocals).
This is an album of intensity, empathy and clarity. You’re sharing something intangible yet accessible. This is time for contemplation. Simply let the words and music flow over you.
Reviewer: Tom Franks