The Fireman – Rushes (1998)

History: Paul and Youth once again got together to create another album, this time without the constraints of only using tracks from Paul’s previous work. They did use pieces of unused songs here and there, but there was also original music created for the album. According to Youth Linda also worked closely with them on this one before she passed away.

My own personal history and initial prediction: Despite how much I hated the first album, I am determined to go into this one with an open mind. It is supposedly better regarded critically, though that doesn’t always mean much.

Review: As I started listening to this album, I found “Watercolour Guitars” very beautiful, though I felt like it was going on a bit too long. When the track transitioned over to “Palo Verde” and the tune continued, I literally said “Oh no” out loud. Fortunately my fears subsided after not too long. My guess is with the right player the transition between the two tracks is meant to be seamless, and they just chose to continue the sounds a little before moving on to different ones. And that really does make this album loads better than the last one, because I can say that all of the tracks are truly different from one another. The exception would be “Watercolour Rush,” but it’s clearly meant to be the coda and bring it all around again if you chose to loop the album, or even just make it all come full circle on a single listen. I have no complaints about that.

Honestly, I have less complaints about the album as a whole this time around. This is not what I would consider club music for sure. It’s more on the ambient side of techno, meant to be something more to chill out to, maybe enjoy a substance while listening if that is your thing. Like pretty much all techno it all goes on a bit too long for me, but I at least appreciate the way they keep changing it up track to track. “Auraveda” takes a page of out George’s book, bringing in a sitar and embracing Indian music. “Appletree Cinnabar Amber” has a really great bass groove running throughout it that I did enjoy, though I probably didn’t need a full 7 minutes of.

It does indulge a bit in one other techno trend I’m not crazy for – spoken word clips. The last album did this as well, and I’m glad that once again we seem to be getting largely different clips per song. The porno moaning on “Fluid” did turn me off a bit though, which makes me sound prudish but it just didn’t fit the mood of the song to me.

Overall the album was not the torturous slog for me that the last one was. I listened while leveling up in a video game, a repetitive task within itself, and it helped keep me interested while the time passed. That said, I don’t think this would be one I would revisit again. I’m much rather listen to something like Standing Stone to chill out to rather than this.

Next Time: Paul returns to his roots once again for Run Devil Run.

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