Stephen Harrison, 'The Pale Blue Moonlight'. Album Review.Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 8.5/10
It is a time when our thoughts can travel the world before we have even blinked, no longer hidden away in drawers our demons and our angels have migrated beyond the journal and into the ether, they bathe in The Pale Blue Moonlight and revel in the heart of every cloud and silver lining casting its shadow on the world below.
For some, this embrace of the elevated form of confession could be seen as inappropriate, a sentimental token of escapism and even importance taken too far, but for Stephen Harrison it is one of genuine reflection and it is one that basks in the moonlight and the warmth of the sun in equal, beautiful, fashion.
The mood of the album is one of softness in tune but virile, consuming energy within its words, a superb dichotomy in which the expression of love wins out completely. Ambient and atmospheric, yet almost hiding a will to be merciless, to make sure that the listener is found on their knees pleading for more; in this sense of polar opposite does The Pale Blue Moonlight emerge as the guiding light to which we set our compasses and watches by.
From the opening introduction of If The Machines and through tracks such as Stepping Stones, the haunting and stilled The Moors, Rain On The Window and Bye Bye My Love, as well as the albumâs title track, The Pale Blue Moonlight, the atmospheric readings of enchantment and feeling come to the fore, there is little to keep the listener responding to the virtue that surrounds the moon, nor does attitude of undisturbed creativity or workaholic cool drag the listener down to a place where they might believe it is all just for the artist’s benefit; a mean feat to produce such a contrast of emotions and harmony.
An album that proves the poetic nature of the music when placed in its spotlight, The Pale Blue Moonlight is one of adventure, of strength and forgiveness; the aura that surrounds the moon may seem hazy to some, but they are stood in the wrong place, change the way you observe the light and its meaning becomes that much clearer. Absolutely captivating.
Ian D. Hall