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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Review: Blue Rabbit - Separate

Blue Rabbit – Separate
2008, Blue Rabbit

San Francisco’s Blue Rabbit goes for Baroque. Mixing the devilishly delightful harmonies of Heather Anderson, Arami Reyes and Sarah Rocklin with cello, drums and Celtic harp, Blue Rabbit delves into Baroque style art-rock that fits perfectly in the San Francisco rock tradition. Blue Rabbit drives their songs with strong lyrical content and melodies you can’t shake. Their debut EP, Separate, is a feast for the ears.

Separate opens with Sleep, an intense somnolent muse with powerful rolling rhythms, quirky instrumentation and gorgeously arranged vocal harmonies. Sleep could be the manic rant of a soul inflicted with intense insomnia. Getting Away mixes electronic and orchestral instrumentation. The music takes a back seat to the vocals here, as the voices of Heather Anderson, Arami Reyes and Sarah “Bangin’ Booty” Rocklin soar like angels and intertwine like golden braids. Separate renews the Baroque Rock push with an intricate and beautifully arrangement musical tableau.

My favorite song on Separate is Missing Piece. The song features voice and cello and has a torch song feel to it. The minor key harmonies make this a haunting piece of music that will stick in your mind long after the CD ceases to spin. The minimalist arrangement makes the most of Blue Rabbit’s collective vocals while allowing the song room to move and breathe of its own volition.

Like I’d Like You To sounds like Sarah McLachlan with a dark aspect. The song lilts and sways through the neurotic midnight of emotions infused in a dysfunctional relationship. This might actually be the best written song on the album. It doesn’t have the same pop sense that some of the other songs on Separate have and so doesn’t stand out as much on first listen. Subsequent listens illuminate the song more and I suspect this will eventually be my favorite song on the disc. Stupid Flag is a fairly generic, pleasant listen. Love Secret returns to the dark, Baroque splendor that seems to infuse the best of Blue Rabbit’s songs on Separate, playing piano and cello against one another in support of perhaps the loveliest melody on the album.

Blue Rabbit is unique. Cello in pop/rock bands is generally relegated to the background, or becomes the raison d’être for bands like Break Of Reality. On Separate the cello is front and center as one of the prime musical movers. Intermixing cello with piano, percussion and the haunting vocals of Anderson, Reyes and Rocklin, Blue Rabbit has found a winning musical combination that will take you by surprise and quickly win you over. Separate is a brave and exciting album that takes big risks and wins. Dark, melodic folk/pop songs with credible weight and depth await you.

Rating: 4.5 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about Blue Rabbit at You can purchase a copy of Separate at

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