White Music: Crack The Sky

Rating: 85%

White_Music_(Crack_the_Sky_album_-_cover_art).jpg“White Music” by Crack the Sky was released in 1980. I had this album on record, tape, and even CD. Over the years, I seemed to loose all copies of this record. Then, my wife looking through a small box of records at the antique store found this treasure on vinyl for $3.50. What a steal!!! Although, many didn’t seem to like the Maryland’s own Prog Rock group, or this record, I did find it refreshing or better yet, something to listen to while recovering from a hangover. Following their disbanding, John Palumbo, Rick Witkowski, and Vince DePaul reformed the group and recorded this record.

I have always admired the weirdness of Crack The Sky’s musical style and the whiny and higher pitched vocal work. “White Music” delivers that in a big way. With the 1980’s music was turned all around. It was the end of the Disco era and becoming more of a Techno era with all kinds of newer styles of music coming on. Rock n’ Roll and Country seemed to embrace some this new era of music as well. Crack The Sky too embraced these new styles. Therefore, this record may not have pleased many of their earlier fans.

“White Music” and the song structures are very impressive. They managed to keep most of the Prog Rock influences while mixing other elements into their musical style. Side one begins with a decent guitar groove on “PopTown.” The vocal style is based around Pop music. Think Talking Heads. “Living With the Lights On” has a great groove and some weird sound effects that SCREAMS Art Rock. This song has plenty of experimentation with the keyboards that produces that weirdness. “Skin Deep” is a very funky tune and the added horn section gives it a very jazzy feel. Side one ends with “White Music” that has a very eerie guitar riff that has some Punk influence to it.

Side two begins the weird vocal and instrumentation song “All American Boy.” “Hot Razors in My Heart” is structured after a normal Rock song from the vocal arrangement to the instrumentation. That song is still played on the Baltimore airwaves to this day and is one of the band’s most popular songs. While, “Techni Generation” employs a more modern sound that was beginning during the late 70’s and 1980. “Flying” has a vocal style that is more fitted to the 1960’s and 1970’s Folk where all members of the group harmonize their vocals, like Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young.”Songs of Soviet Sons” has a good groove that is surrounded by a String arrangements.

The song structures are well written. It’s got Prog, it’s got Rock, it’s got Pop, and it’s got lot’s of experimentation. The melodies are fantastic with regards to the music. It’s got some excellent guitar solos. The instrumentation is very good. I love Heavy Metal music, but the guitar on this record is brilliant. It’s not heavy or distorted. It’s got a great sound. The bass is very funky. This album also has some great drumming on it as well. This record sets up Crack The Sky as they move into a new decade. My favorite songs on this record are “White Music” and “Hot Razors in My Heart.”

Track listing:

1. “Poptown” 3:47
2. “Living With the Lights On” 2:56
3. “The Radio Cries (It’s Singles Time)” 3:11
4. “Skin Deep” 4:08
5. “White Music” 4:12
6. “All American Boy” 3:18
7. “Hot Razors in My Heart” 4:38
8. “Suspicion” 4:50
9. “Techni Generation” 4:05
10. “Flying” 1:21
11. “Songs of Soviet Sons” 5:05

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