Castanets - Texas Rose The Thaw & The Beast
Ray Raposa sure knows his way around a room. Whether using Castanets as a solo or band vehicle, he has explored inner and outer space was few have recently. You feel a sense of place, a grounding, in his music, as if the physical drives the emotional. "Texas Rose The Thaw & The Beast" is more open and emotionally varied than last year's brilliant but somewhat introverted "City of Refuge."
Reverb and cinematic atmospherics abound. Even on more or less country tunes like "Rose" and "Thaw and The Beasts" there is an ambient element, an almost prog obsession with aura and sound for its own sake. "Down The Line Love" and "Ignorance is Blues" are just short of classic in that style. By the closer, "Dance, Dance," you are not sure if the mix of country, blues and formless sound is built off of traditional rhythms, or IS traditional rhythm. Raposa's delivery is so confident and inspired that the space created by the music sounds jarring and comforting at once.
There will never again be another Beatles, in which the best-selling pop band is also the most avant-garde band. Castanets will never be confused with The Beatles-since Ray Raposa does not have hits, and is not over the top experimental-but that spirit of deep love for both melody and testing the sonic fringe is similar. "Texas Rose The Thaw & The Beast" is among the man's best releases, a challenge and a comfort to the listener.
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