Celebration deliver every single time. There’s no way around it, this band has such a strong vision whenever they record an album that the end result always is a dense, dangerous and strikingly beautiful sculpture of whirring, eclectic sounds crowned by Katrina Ford’s mystical voice.
“Albumin” took quite some time (as did the previous album) but it’s worth every single second that we stood at the windows, watching planes fly across the sky in the night and being sad for the fact that you hardly ever see stars in the city.
The album starts with the looming “Razor’s Edge”, a song quite upfront in its title about its nature. There are some electronic bits in this new offering but it always sneaks along David Lynch-shadows of uneasiness and so do the particularly dissonant 50s elements – it’s like Carrie’s prom with the exception of the marvelous and probably poppiest song Celebration ever created. “Walk On” is outright absurd within all these shadowy prog-tunes but it feels right and it’s quite beautiful especially when the “And the colored girls sing”-choir sets in and you just want to choreograph a little dance and get a cane and a top hat to dance along some stairs.
The mood, by the way, despite all the Celebration-isms, is heavily uplifting in contrast to the previous album which – according to some interviews of yesteryear – was a sort of cathartic exercise to get over the frustration of major labels being horrible and maybe also some other things, who knows, life can be quite dark at times. But “Albumin” seems to have overcome the darkness and revels in the eerie glee of the 50s, some 60s Ike & Tina-Blues and of course the brilliance of using prog-features to transform the songs within themselves so you feel like you stepped into a hurricane in Kansas only to wake up right on a dead witch.
The last songs then…oh, the last songs. “Only the Wicked” channels “Cabaret” and even though Katrina’s voice is often part of the instruments on this album, it shines in this song and leads you through this rag tag group of shady performers (who all know their stuff and probably already played King Crimson in their cribs). And the final song, “Don’t stop dreaming” starts with a certain nautical vibe but doesn’t lose the theater-quality of its predecessor therefore reminding of those last songs in front of the curtain, in the spotlight by an artist whose make up has been dripping in the heat of the lights and who is tired and just sitting there on a bar stool, singing into the air as if someone would listen. Maybe it is us, after all, this album occasionally does sound like a dream.