The finnish band ‘Rain Diary’ already released their album ‘Black Weddings’ in 2017 but it just recently fell into my hands and struck me as so mentionable that I decided to do a review nonetheless. One thing beforehand: if you go for this record, make sure to get your hands on the ‘White Edition’ – the bonus tracks are SO worth it!
‘Rain Diary’ started off in 2007 and this experience is definitely noticeable throughout the album. This is not the average electro thing. This is quiet, sad, very emotional and still amazingly up to date with the outside super optimistic pop world. You don’t think this incredible mixture is possible? Well, brace yourself!
Starting high from a breezy low
Already the intro ‘30.973762’ caught my attention: an old music box gets contrasted by a short dark poem, followed by a crooked, eerie sound making your skin crawl a little. Is it a coincidence, that the title represents the atomic weight of phosphorus? Because what´s coming burns as bright and devouring as this highly varied element.
The first title ‘Toxic Blues’ fullfills its function as a trailblazer like nothing else. I was swept away by the breezy, somewhat lost tones and Tommi Suomala’s fragile, but determined voice. The song is very densely layered and holds a sense of dark foreboding. Nonetheless its offbeat construction and energetic chorus give everything a really fresh Dark Pop sound needs.
A silver moon enlightens the cold plains
This is it. ‘Berlin‘ is a dancefloor hymn to sing along to but not to sweat too much while dancing due to its quiet tunes between the choruses. It is absolutely on point and not a second too long. The lost souls of Berlin will love it.
‘We Are Here We Are Now’ represents the perfect romantic ballad for those restless times, ‘Rain Diary’ really managed to catch the beauty of fugacity in only 3 minutes and 40 desperate seconds. This song really makes you want to embrace every little second with the ones you love because love can fade like everything else.
… do you know there’s a perfect sky just waiting to be seen but someone else will take you there … Lyrics from ‘Black Wedding’ by Rain Diary
This sentence is the essence of being left and it’s wrapped up so emotionally in ‘Black Wedding’, that you have to picture a dark church with just one person in it, desperate but still full of love. The organ implanted here is of course the core factor to this picture and the well set pauses lift your expectancy even higher. But the song’s structure doesn’t leave you in a den, it lifts you up with its wonderful big chorus and gives you hope to carry on by closing in positively higher sounds.
Ominous clouds gather in the open sky
To me the weakest song of the album, ‘Swans’ still comes up with interesting sci-fi-like tunes in the beginning and end and a german sample in the middle part. This is always a bit disturbing to me as a native speaker, but works quite well in this arrangement.
The ‘White Edition’ closes with this song as an acoustic version. I’m usually no friend of things like this, but I get the idea here. I like this version much better, because it’s cleaner, better structured and more focused.
With a comparably brutal sound ‘Flowers’ made me listen up instantly. Its structure reminds me more of New Metal although still completly electronic. It also reminds me oftentimes of Björk‘s ‘Army Of Me’ but with a much more open attitude. It has some threateningly dark elements which give the album at this point a very interesting new twist which I actually didn’t expect.
The air is shifting
‘Unified’ sort of swings. It certainly has a quite pop like appearance but ‘Rain Diary’ always manage to keep the dark side regarding content very close to the musically light side. The duett parts with Tytti Toppari underline this incongruity beautifully.
… I killed my heart this morning with a song you used to play … Lyrics from ‘Everything Is Painted Falling’ by Rain Diary
‘Everything Is Painted Falling’ combines pretty much everything a broken heart is made of: strings, angle-like choirs and a heartbeat that dominates the foreground. A very interesting arrangement that leaves you sad and comforted at the same time.
YAAAY! Disco! You might think reading the CD sleeve with the words ‘Kill The Disco’. Once this piece starts, you notice how totally mislead you were: crouching down like a tiger this song is waiting to spring on you – and it does it hard and loud compared to the soft tunes used on this album up to now. This is fun!
All light gone
And with a stroke of the piano all fun has drained out of the world. The curtain is drawn for ‘Violent Sky’. This piano/guitar/string arrangement is the soundtrack to feeling as helpless as only another person can make you feel. It’s dramatic without exaggeration with disharmonic but subordinated peaks at the end. The regular record stops here, which would have left me beautifully depressed. But I am very happy to have gotten the ‘White Edition’ with two more great tracks to ease my mind.
In ‘What Becomes Of Night’ I am reminded of everything I love about bands like ‘The Cult‘: changing tempi and a lovely old school instrumentation. This song sounds kind of outlandish, like from a far away place somewhere in the Wild West and at the same time somewhere right inside the Orient. It´s oppulent, a whole landscape of a song. It not only tells of leaving, it feels like it.
I’m not easily impressed by quiet albums, but this one really got me hooked. From the first second I liked the interesting twists and turns and unexpected arrangements giving me haunting earworms. ‘Rain Diary’ breathes, lives and feels their music. The lyrics are straight forward but nevertheless poetic and very comprehensible. Guys, you made me cry.