Review Summary: The Answers, the often overlooked album by the often overlooked band, Blue October. If you like meaningful lyrics, great violin solos, and honesty in music....Do not read anymore. Just go and buy the CD.
What bothers me the most about many mainstream listeners is that they hear one song from an artist and give up on them. In Blue October's case, it was most likely Calling You or Hate Me, two of their most popular songs. Good songs, but far from being the best in my own opinion. I felt the urge to add this album because its not getting the attention it deserves. But I will try my hardest to write an unbiased review.
It's 1997. Blue October is recording their first album, and with limited tools. (Just look at the production of Foiled compared to this). This is before the days of C.B. Hudson's roaring guitar, and as much as I love C.B. and the direction the band took after finding him, I do miss the rhythmic violin that was very prevalent in just about every song in the album. The sound did not get old to me.
Its starts out with their title track (kind of) called The Answer. The violin saved it for me, as I wasn't a very big fan of this one. It's not horrible mind you, its just one I find myself skipping when I put in my CD. Two A.M. Lovesick starts off a bit more somber than the first, but really gets. I find myself entranced by the sound of the violin in this one as well. (From here on out, assume that I love the violin part in the song, because I do). Its songs like The 21st and For My Brother that made me fall in love with this CD. Personally, its Blue Octobers more mellows songs that really do it for me. They are very capable of pulling off the loud sound, as we have seen, but my preference lies with the quieter ones. I will admit however, that Italian Radio's catchy tune had me dancing.
Blue Sunshine was my favorite on the CD. Sweet and Somber Pigeon Wings a close second. Justin's voice really seems to shine when he is singing the slower songs. Weakness and Mr. Blue's Menu are good, but forgettable.
Darkest Side of Houston's Finest Day was a very "feel good" song, if that makes any sense. It will make you smile hearing it.
Black Orchid is the final song on the album, and Blue October has always closed their CD's with very deep, slow songs, and for that I love them. While 18th Floor Balcony has a happier tone to it, this song focuses on Justin's struggle through early life, and its apparent that the song is meant for his mother.
This band holds nothing back. They leave no stone left unturned. Drug Abuse, suicide, depression, psychotic behavior. It's all there. And the one thing I ask from a band is to be true to themselves. To be real. These guys are for real. Do yourself a favor. If you loved Foiled, and maybe if you didn't, give this album a shot. Its much more easily available than it used to be.