‘Ruby Topaz Again 23rd Anniversary Remaster’

Fresh off last year’s album of new material, Rabbit Hole, Ruby Topaz provides listeners with a blast through the project’s long-running span, which is approaching 40 years. The glam-rock project continues to be led by guitarist and vocalist Mark Bram, whose charismatic vocals take inspiration from Queen and Led Zeppelin. “We have the glam and theatrics of Cooper and Bowie, the sophisticated rock of Queen, the power and urgency of early Zeppelin with the melodic prowess of early Beatles,” Bram says.

Following the success of Rabbit Hole, Ruby Topaz does well in this album of 14 remastered tracks, spanning the band’s multiple decades and eleven releases. The standouts are numerous. “Lookin 4 U” enthralls in its moody guitar twangs and Robert Plant-esque vocal progressions, injecting bluesy guitars amidst a plea not to “start again.” “Forever Near” is an example of Bram’s ability to shift between heart-aching balladry and anthemic rock, while “Lose Me” captivates in its jangly fervency and arrival into some stellar, debonair guitar work.

The band’s resurgence in popularity has been kick-started by Rabbit Hole, along with some YouTube-driven discoveries, and Ruby Topaz Again 23rd Anniversary Remaster is a tidy collection of songs that emphasize the band’s eclectic power — from anthemic, dexterous rockers to heartfelt mystique.

“Lookin 4 U” and other tracks featured this month can be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Emerging Singles’ Spotify playlist.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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