Approaching Normal review by Blue October

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  • Released: Mar 24, 2009
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 8.9 (30 votes)
Blue October: Approaching Normal
0

Sound — 10
Blue October has returned to their older sound with their newest album "Approaching Normal". it's not as experimental as Foiled but to me, that's a good thing. It doesn't have that dreamy/trancy feel to it like Foiled did. 01.Weight Of The World: a slow song, where Justin talks the lyrics for the most part, except for the chorus. 02.Say It: sounds like something that would have come off of History for Sale, kind reminds me of Sexual Powertrip at first. The drums and percussion sound cool. there's a cool little violin solo towards the end. 03.Dirt Room: the single from the album. Very simple musically but sounds great. 04.Been Down: my personal favorite on the album. it's very mellowed out. Reminds me of Everlasting Friend at first. 05.My Never: another simple song, starts with a little guitar riff played over again, then in the bridge/chorus, that riff is mixed with chords. A piano compliments everything. 06.Should Be Loved: upbeat, sounds like an 80's song to me. Guitars and violin sound awesome. In the middle an electronic organ is used which sounds cool. It reminds me of another song especially in the chorus. 07.Kangaroo Cry: verses are slow, but the chorus and bridge get louder into a really nice melody. I don't know why but it reminds me of HRSA. 08.Picking Up Pieces: moderate pace, during the verse, the percussion used sounds amazing, kindof like a bunch of bells, and a nice little beat made with a palm muted guitar. 09.Jump Rope: honestly, this song threw me off at first. it's the one song that sounds out of place to me. It's a more silly-type song for them than usual, happy. Catchy beat, and violin melodies. 10.Blue Skies: very upbeat song, not one of my favorites. Reminds me of Angel off of Consent to Treatment. 11.Blue Does: reminds me of Black Orchid, but it's not a sad song. More like a lullaby, a little like Zoe Jane from Staind. 12.The End: an extremely tense song. The main melody used in the verses keeps the tension along with Justins spoken lyrics.

Lyrics — 10
I was happy with the lyrics, overall, except for the song Jump Rope, which has extremely catchy vocals and is very radio-friendly. There was just something missing. Justin is an amazing songwriter and singer. Their lyrics may not rhyme but the way he sings them with the music, it just works, and it is an amazing thing. When he said that the song "The End" was the reason why it was parental advisory, he wasn't kidding. Many of the songs had more of an angry tone to them, which I thought worked well.

Overall Impression — 10
I am very satisfied with this album. I liked their older material more than Foiled, but Approaching Normal is like a mixture of everything they've ever done. The only way I can truly describe it is by a comparison to another bands album where they changed their sound again. The other album is All Hope Is Gone by Slipknot. Yes, I know it is an extreme comparison considering they are two different genres but it's the only thing I can think of at the moment. Slipknot started out fast, and went real heavy with Iowa, then when Volume Three came out, they slowed everything down but still had their sound to it. And when All Hope Is Gone was released they went back to an older sound, and in my opinion made one of the best records of the year. They changed and got heavy again but kept their melodic traces from Vol.3. I think slipknots vol.3 is like blue octobers Foiled in the way that both bands changed everything for a while. They picked things up again and went from sad songs back to more angry ones. The best songs on the album to me, are Been Down, Dirt Room, Picking Up Pieces and Should Be Loved. If it were lost/stolen, I would surely buy it again.

24 comments sorted by best / new / date

    evilbeavil
    did anyone else think that the picture of the dude from this band on the homepage looks like daron malakian from system? thats the only reason i clicked this link
    gbcbr5
    No one can just talk or scream in a song like Justin. Favorites on Approaching Normal are: Should Be Loved, My Never and The End! All time favorite is still Ugly Side, then again my favorite changes all the time. If your not a fan listen to Quit Mind!!
    Aaronrockstar15
    Dont know if anyone has but the clean version comes with the song 'Graceful dancing' and i thought it was great. just seeing if anyones heard it.
    DwizzleDizzle
    Does anybody notice how much bono is trying to look like justin, like short hair on the sides, longer on top, kinda spikey messed up on top, little bit of blackish blue guy liner, and then the scruffy barely unshaven ness... seriously check it out, its wierd
    styxfan226
    Adyson88 wrote: Blue October brings it every time. They have such a passion for what they do, it shows in every album. I am enjoying this transition that Justin is making, but I still love "The End". Another classic album in my book. BTW, i forgot how many people on here only listen to good music, and also know what sucks. We appreciate you showing us all what good music is. I would be lost without you. I now know that anything mainstream is horrible, and only underground metal is worth listening to...thank you. [/sarcasm]
    +1
    Adyson88
    Blue October brings it every time. They have such a passion for what they do, it shows in every album. I am enjoying this transition that Justin is making, but I still love "The End". Another classic album in my book. BTW, i forgot how many people on here only listen to good music, and also know what sucks. We appreciate you showing us all what good music is. I would be lost without you. I now know that anything mainstream is horrible, and only underground metal is worth listening to...thank you. [/sarcasm]
    Crane009
    I completely agree with dravensvision, nothing special, and extremely emo.
    Melkord
    DwizzleDizzle wrote: this album is amazing if you like deep lyrics
    Well I guess deep lyrics is one way to state it, they are interesting, although slightly on the emo side for my tastes
    5_Strings
    crankycactus wrote: just another shitty emo band...hence the eye make up
    Fixed
    coldfry1
    i love every song they've made. i love the new cd. favorite song is either should be loved, jump rope, or say it.
    dravensvision
    I think this band is a waste of already crappy airwaves, cds, and vinyl. I really don't think they're anything special.
    styxfan226
    same here dwizzle, blue october is good for that kind of thing. Every one of their albums has helped me
    DwizzleDizzle
    This may sound like im some pussy but after being with a girl for 2 years and then having a horrible break up that ended with stalking, cops, lies, and all sorts of shit, this album has pretty much saved me from all sorts of sick thoughts and depression so i have to say this album is amazing if you like deep lyrics, good sounds, and great music overall so ya id definitly recommend this album and band to anybody!
    lifesizeshadow
    "the End" isnt about voyeurism or stalking... its about coming home to catch your wife cheating on you and putting a permanent end to it. and yourself.
    red157
    Never heard of them, thought that cover puts me in mind of the poster 'Let the Right One In'.
    angel <3
    The End is so intense, it's not even funny. I seriously have to take a breather everytime I'm done listening to the song. In fact, it's even scary... Justin and his wife are still together right?? *scared*