Back in early January when I started this one album a week music project I wanted to listen to something new, something I hadn’t listened to before. My goal was to once a week pick an album I had not yet listen to and give it my full attention for one week. That first album I picked was “Past Worn Searching” by Rainer Maria, and five months later I feel like it’s still my favorite album I’ve picked all year long. It was a breath of fresh air in my listening habits and that’s why I figured that halfway through this year long project I’d pick another album by Rainer Maria. This week I picked “Look Now Look Again” and I was honestly amazed by the album.
There’s something to be said about Rainer Maria, they’re a very “indie” sounding band and I don’t know how else to put it. They have a very raw and unfiltered sound that doesn’t sit well with most people but the raw emotion is something I found to be really enjoyable and just great to listen to. Their music isn’t revolutionary and their lyrics aren’t poetic necessarily but the whole package is something that is greater than the sum of its parts. The rock music coupled with the raw vocal duets are really special, and the lyrics also do a good job of hitting home with reality.
“Look Now Look Again” has a more produced feel than the first album by Rainer Maria, but that doesn’t mean it’s worse. In fact, the cleaned up feel of the album is something that really makes the music shine in a whole new light. Where the first album was a proof of concept that showed how special Rainer Maria is, this album is the essence of what makes them great boiled down and refined to perfection. The music has a great fast paced feel to it but what really made the album special for me were the vocals.
Rainer Maria has a great way of using offset vocals to make the song feel offbeat and confused in a way. This acts as a strength for the band as their songs are typically about bad breakups, helping friends through tough times, and the confusing decisions of life that we all go through. Typically I’ve found that music has a way of blocking or clouding what’s real. That’s all well and good when you just want to listen to music and have fun but when you find a band that can bring out the truth of life and reverberate that reality through its music you find something special.
That’s what I found in Rainer Maria as a whole. “Past Worn Searching” was an amazing album that opened me up to what Rainer Maria has to offer and “Look Now Look Again” solidified my opinion that their music is something truly special to me. It’s like when you find a book that not everyone gets but you really understand or when you fall in love with a movie but can’t explain why. Rainer Maria doesn’t play the type of music I normally listen to, and they don’t even play as a band anymore, but they’re a band I can’t get enough of and will listen to at anytime. If I had to pick one album to listen to for the rest of my life or while stranded on a beach it’d be a tough pick. That’s because Rainer Maria has more than one album in their discography.
Standout track- “Breakfast of Champions” has everything within it that makes Rainer Maria standout to me.
Listen to it if- You want something raw on the inside but nicely cooked on the outside, like a fine steak.
Don’t listen to it if- You’re bass is too loud to hear anything I’m saying.
Overall opinion- I drool over Rainer Maria.