Monday, 12 December 2016

Bleu im Doppelpack

Headroom established Bleu as a Boston sensation, but his "Somebody Else" on the blockbuster Spiderman soundtrack introduced him to more mainstream audiences and paved the way for his second record, Redhead. While it is the proper follow-up to Headroom, Redhead also includes re-recorded versions of four cuts from that album, along with "Somebody Else" and nine new tracks. The most noticeable change from the debut is evident in the execution: The subtle electronic elements on Headroom, along with some of that disc's charming quirkiness, have been replaced with a muscular, straightforward mainstream rock sound. At first this can be a little disconcerting, since Redhead feels like a slightly more anonymous work, but the quality of the new cuts saves the entire affair. The Andy Sturmer co-penned cut "Could Be Worse" sounds exactly like you'd imagine -- Bleu and Jellyfish mixed together, with an end product something like Supertramp. Storming power pop like "Ursula Major, Ursula Minor" sits comfortably next to gorgeous ballads like "We'll Do It All Again." Bleu does occasionally let his more maudlin, dramatic vocal sensibilities run wild here, making him at times sound like a rockier Rufus Wainwright, but even the biggest departures aren't shockingly different from Headroom. Redhead is just a pop record, but it feels like a manifesto, playing smoothly from end to end. Fans of modern guitar pop and singer/songwriters can't miss with this. [The 2003 Columbia re-release of Redhead adds two songs to the track listing (the crashing album opener "Get Up" and "That's When I Crash") and deletes three songs: "Sayonara," "Feet Don't Fail" and "Ursula Major, Ursula Minor". The addition of "Get Up" makes Redhead a stronger album but it is too bad the decision to cut "Sayonara" was made as the track (which features the girls of Puffy on background vocals) was one of the album's highlights.]

 Six years after songwriter and popmeister Bleu briefly flirted with mainstream success -- a song on the soundtrack to Spiderman and a distribution deal with Columbia for his album Redhead -- he's finally gotten around to releasing a follow-up, A Watched Pot , and while the title seems to hint at the record's extended gestation period, the results sound polished and professional without suggesting  Bleu has been worrying this material during his downtime. Bleu's music is smart and laden with hooks, and the production by John Fields makes the most of the melodies, adding a solid crunch when the tunes are supposed to rock, a solid old-school R&B groove when he feels like dancing, and a swooning vulnerability when Bleu is wearing his heart on his sleeve. Or rather, when he acts like he's wearing his heart on his sleeve -- many of the songs on A Watched Pot walk a fine line between a true romantic's sincerity and a snarky air of sarcasm, summed up in "No Such Thing as Love" and "I Won't Fuck You Over (This Time)." While over in the country singer/songwriters section Lyle Lovett has built a career around characters who embody this sort of duality, Lovett can negotiate the balance in a way that makes his characters sound dastardly but interesting, while Bleu generally just seems shallow when he tries the same trick. This failing is all the more frustrating since A Watched Pot is a great-sounding pop album, with just enough contemporary sheen to make it a clear product of the present day while revealing the ear of a classicist who has learned from a lot of great records of the '70s and '80s. Ultimately, A Watched Pot is the work of an artist who writes great tunes but could use some help with the words -- anyone know a good lyricist who likes to write about guys who are a little on the shifty side? Thanks Jason Damas & Mark Deming for the reviews

See you

Links in the comments


  1. Redhead :!f1cCEB6Y!8UR-edoXKmnvI8FJIdaGLdtSb4y7sPGy5KUhth0UCPU

    Watched Pot :!ugUBAZKK!xQCQ5lRhcY0kdRw7dY2Cammo9pVqYNv94dUFkt1js5I

    Pass : SB1

    1. Somethings gone wrong with the links

    2. I tried myself and everything works fine. It must be on your side...

    3. Hey Tweed, you have to copy and paste the link in the adress field of your browser or mark and right click and open the link.