Bel Canto ‎– Rush

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Versions (10)

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
7243 4 93632 2 9 Bel Canto Rush(CD, Album) EMI 7243 4 93632 2 9 Europe 1998 Sell This Version
SAN 491957.2 Bel Canto Images(CD, Album) Saint George SAN 491957.2 France 1998 Sell This Version
San 491 957-4 Bel Canto Images(Cass) Saint George San 491 957-4 France 1998 Sell This Version
SAN 491957.8 Bel Canto Images(MD, Album) Saint George SAN 491957.8 Austria 1998 Sell This Version
7243 4 93831 2 8 Bel Canto Rush(CD, Album) EMI 7243 4 93831 2 8 Europe 1998 Sell This Version
7243 4 93881 2 Bel Canto Rush(CD, Album) EMI 7243 4 93881 2 Norway 1998 Sell This Version
7243 4 93831 2 8 Bel Canto Rush(CD, Album, Promo) EMI 7243 4 93831 2 8 Europe 1998 Sell This Version
BCPROMO 0298 Bel Canto Rush(CD, Album, Promo, box) EMI BCPROMO 0298 Norway 1998 Sell This Version
OSB 018 Bel Canto Rush(CD, Album, Unofficial) Music For The People OSB 018 Russia 2005 Sell This Version
SMCD 014 Bel Canto Rush (Special Edition)(CD, Album, Enh, RE, Dig) Samadhi Musik SMCD 014 Mexico 2006 Sell This Version

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Grumpiness

Grumpiness

December 21, 2009
edited over 9 years ago
referencing Rush, CD, Album, 7243 4 93632 2 9
It’s a rare kind of music which combines so many different instruments and styles, and does it so seamlessly. There are many experimental bands and many good vocalists but, for me Bel Canto stands a cut above the rest. It’s not so much the exceptional vocals of Anneli Drecker, nor the impeccable instrumentation of the band, or even the programming, which make Bel Canto unique, rather it is their sense of timing in each of these things, which make for a truly unusual listening experience.

Anneli Drecker can do some really impossible things with her voice, but she is not simply showing off, or demonstrating the possibilities of her vocal ability. Her voice is still simply a tool for the artistry. The listener is not given the chance to intellectualise, and say, “Wow they are really skilled”, rather the listener is caught up in the current of each song. The vocal is one with the harp, which is one with the programming, which is one with the guitar, which is one with the harmonies, which is one with the poetry. Indeed it would be hard for a listener to even pick out one element, to like or dislike. Each song is a monster, or an angel, or a God, or a Cyclops. One forgets about the technicalities of music altogether.

The 1998 album “Rush” is the best example of the band’s versatility. The album itself is nearly indefinable in terms of genre. Until “Rush” came out, one could have said that Bel Canto was a little bit New Age, or World, but on “Rush” the band shatters any preconceived stereotypes. Each track is so unique, that one almost feels that it is being played by a different artist. The only constant element is Anneli Drecker’s voice which is unmistakable, but it too is never quite the same twice. The first track “Images” is a tantalizing appetizer for the rest of the album. It’s a kind of spiritual pop tune, with just a hint of the saucy funkiness to come. On the third track “Spacejunk”, the band blew my mind. I listen to a lot of spiritually inspired music with great relish, but one thing I seldom expect it to be is “cool”. Spacejunk is simply too cool to breath, and the melody is really cheeky. How can a melody be cheeky? It should be impossible, but they manage it here and the horn section plays some kind of sequence of chords, which I can only describe as shameless.

The seventh track “Rush”, which is the title track, takes us again to a whole new world. I will probably forever think of this song as “The Oracle Song”. The subject matter, like so many of Bel Canto’s songs is somewhat ineffable, but it does indeed surround an oracle. On this track, Anneli goes into some kind of spasmodic convulsions with her voice, which conjure up, all too vividly, images of the old Pythias of Greece and the incomprehensible warblings they used to emit when in a psychic trance. Still she does not abandon the aesthetic of the song, and each break in her voice harmonises perfectly with the instrumentation and melodic of the piece. The ninth track “Dinosaur Slipper Man” is hilariously funny and returns again to the jazzy funkiness of “Spacejunk”, but raising the bar again. The melody this time, is laconic, and the musicality of this track is quite complex, and would easily appeal to fans of Alternative Rock, or Avant-garde.

Listening to Rush is like being in Wonderland. Nothing is ever quite what it seems, and the landscape keeps changing. You might think, the first time you listen to it, that “Dinosaur Slipper Man” is the most complex piece of the album, but after the tenth time, you may have decided it is actually “Sun”, which is considerable subtler in tone, and does not immediately grab the listener. “Rush” is impressive right up front, but continues to unravel layers of rich complexity time after time of listening to it. One is not permitted the luxury of boredom.