Overall Impression — 10
Never having heard of Blue October except for a few concert adds here in there thru Deep Ellum I had no idea what to think, and my naiveté has paid off. A quick run thru gave off influences as vast as U2, Celtic instrumentation and moods, Psychedelic Furs and a load of British bands that straddle the line between ethereal and clean. Opener Ugly Side blends a lush Celtic violin against a sound reminiscent of Flesh For Lulu, with a gentle but abundant chorus brushing up to the aforementioned ethereal mood of the guitars. Razorblade segues back into a more American sound as vocalist Justin Furstenfeld blends an angered Dave Matthews delivery with the looseness of Perry Farrell. At times the record closes in on the material that Tripping Daisy was doing during their Elastic period, but don't regard this as a rip but more of a influence. Chameleon Boy begins with a simple acoustic chord pattern accentuating, Furstenfeld's fragile yet confident voice as get ready for another breakdown sounds rest assured. A Quiet Mind utilizes the distinctive timbre of a cello to set the tone for the upcoming pop chorus and clean guitars not too far removed from Vertical Horizon. Inner Glow mixes in The Edge's (U2) guitar chime with the melody of Third Eye Blind's How's It Going To Be. It's not that Blue October aren't trying to give an original twist to their sound, its' just that I need reference points in order to describe their style. Somebody turns up the volume a little louder as guitarist CB Hudson gets to use that distortion pedal he invested in. Closing statement Amazing once again blends rich sounding acoustics with a subtle lullaby delivery by Furstenfeld, solidifying the sound that makes up the album: strong acoustically driven pop with lush vocals occasionally washed in electrics. It's very rare nowadays that I have my ears pricked up by bands and considering that Blue October is a Texas band makes this discovery a little bit sweeter. Though this is not my usual cup of tea, I'd recommend it to those who yearn for some fine songwriting mixed with excelling musicianship and experimentation. Coincidently, the band regularly sells out local venues, and that just goes to show you how out of touch I am with things on a local regard. I best start scanning the Observer a little more often.
History For Sale review by Blue October
Overall Impression — 10