Review Summary: An eclectic mix of happy, sad, heartbroken, vengeful, confused, and even a bit of politics rolled up into one album and presented to your lucky ears to hear. This album goes to show that Blue October, after five albums, can still sound great without sacri2 of 4 thought this review was well written
Every album Blue October releases seems to have its own underlying mood or theme. This album seems to take on less about Justin's own struggles and he goes on more about issues that your "normal" person can relate to. Thus the name, and although it feels like a different direction than we are used to, Blue fans won't be disappointed.
The first track Weight of the World is already a favorite among Blue fans before release, and it kicks the off the track with the Blue October we know and love. But the next two tracks are my least two favorite on the whole album. Say It and Dirt Room, both meant to be radio hits, are necessary unfortunately, but it's going to sound like your standard rock song that may or may not be a hit on the radio. Either way, I doubt either of these songs will meet the success of Hate Me.
It's fine though, because Blue October's creativity is allowed to shine for most the rest of the album. Been Down, Should Be Loved, and My Never are the love songs of this album, and they are three of my favorites. For someone who can only stand so many love songs...these are amazing. My Never is a slower track, accompanied by Ryan's violin and an acoustic guitar playing throughout. Been Down is one of my favorites, taking on a more serious tone but still having that somber feeling. Should Be Loved is an upbeat song, and one I can see being a live favorite.
Picking Up Pieces and Kangaroo Cry follow the same serious tone as Been Down. Kangaroo Cry has a political message in it...something unfamiliar to their music. I can't help but to think of Been Down every time I hear Picking Up Pieces, and sometimes find myself confusing the two...but this is still a very amazing song about struggling with yourself and wondering how long this has to go on.
Jump Rope, Blue Skies, and Blue Does all seem to be inspired by Justin's daughter Blue. Jump Rope talks about the ups and downs of life, and Blue Skies is a sort of redemption for Justin, sparked by his daughter. These are two of the happiest songs I've heard him song, and both are different and very welcome. I can understand a few people being annoyed with Jump Rope, it does feel like its aimed more towards children. But any true Blue fan will find their joy in it. Blue Does is a lullaby for his daughter, and while I enjoyed listening to it, it wasn't one of my favorites. It's a great track, and listening to Ryan sing with Justin is great, but it ages quicker than the others.
Graceful Dancing (on the edited version) is well suited for a final track for those who don't like bad words. It ends the album on a very happy, somber note. However, the explicit version will find themselves listening to one of Blue's most intense songs. Hearing Justin vocalize a fantasy about busting in on his ex and her new lover only to kill everyone sent chills down my spine. And the first 3 minutes I was skeptical, but it came together at the end. The End is my favorite closing track yet, and it's strange to hear a happy album end on such a violent note, while all his other albums ended with slower songs.
Some might complain that Blue October is inconsistent with what they want to play, like they can't figure out what kind of band they are. I can't understand this complaint because I really don't know who would want all their songs to sound the same. One of their strongest traits is that they write about a wide spectrum of subjects, and all moods, from violent, to very happy, to heartbroken, to confused, are all addressed in this 12 track album. So while all the other bands are struggling to come out with songs that go with their usually MO, Blue October will have no problem releasing songs because they address everything, and that's why I'm hopeful that The End won't be their last track.