One of the more involving concept albums I've laid ears across in recent times, Raintown was the mega successful debut of atmospheric Scottish pop-rock ensemble Deacon Blue, led by vocalist/guitarist Ricky Ross and co-singer Lorraine McIntosh.
And boy is this one hell of a debut. Musically I've found myself reminded while listening to these guys of something like a cross between the best aspects of The Blue Nile and post-punkers The Chameleons, with shimmery Johnny Marr-esque guitar soundscapes breathing like a loud wind blowing parallel to the tide of watery keyboards. And, of course, the rough voice of Ross is contrasted against all this slickery by leading and subsequently being led through refrains courtesy of McIntosh's vocalizing.
The songs themselves are Springsteenian minatures through and through, tours that weave amidst the melancholy and occasionally heartbreaking lives of those who live in the decaying, urban sprawl of Glasgow, Scotland. 'Chocolate Girl' stands out immediately due to its punkish, steel guitar countryisms, while 'Ragman' and compositions like the title track are gorgeous slices of late 80's key-driven pop with a bit of lyrical bite to boot.
If any of these numbers or previously described features sound even the slightest bit delectable, I would suggest digging in pronto. Hare today, gone tomorrow, as the nursery rhyme tends to go...
Listen Here - "Raintown"