Review Summary: While Bluebeard did not bring anything new to the table, they showcased a well crafted emo album that should not be overlooked.
The term “emo” has been thrown around a lot in the past 25 years. So much now, that there is a great deal of controversy of what it exactly is. In a lot of instances bands such as My Chemical Romance and Fall Out Boy are wrongly considered emo when the truth is that emo has been around long before those bands existed. Granted, the sound of emo has evolved over the years, many true fans would agree that bands such as Sunny Day Real Estate, Mineral, and The Promise Ring were amongst the most influential during the late 90’s. One brief group in Japan would pick up where these bands left off in the early 2000’s. This band was called Bluebeard. Though Bluebeard might not be as widely recognized as the before mentioned bands, they proved themselves to be just as capable of an influential emo band with their self titled LP.
Though the production could be a bit better, the mix is great as you can hear all the instruments over each other and the vocals clearly. As far as instrumentation goes, every instrument on the record is up to par with each other. Although the guitarists play consistently fairly simple harmonies throughout the album they make each harmony interesting by the way the guitar parts intertwine with each other. One example of this is shown in the intro of “Snow”. An additional instrumental highlight in the album is about ¾’s of the way through the song “Sleepless” where there is a part that sounds similar to the prominent indie band, American Football. In this part the drums really shine by playing a jazzy drum line that circulates around the ride cymbal and toms while the bass keeps a steady rhythm and the guitars pluck whole noted chords. Another strongpoint of the album is how effective Bluebeard was at sufficiently transitioning their softer and chilled out parts of their songs to the louder and heavier moments. This is a characteristic that can be found in many other inspiring emo bands such as Mineral.
One of the most unique aspects of the album is the great deal of emotion displayed from the singer. It is important to note that although the lyrics are in Japanese the singer clearly sings with very much empathy. This is most excellently presented in the track, “Room 501”. As he sings in the chorus with such power and passion it is hard to deny that he means what he is saying, even if it is in a language you are unfamiliar with. All through the album there is a fantastic arrangement of enjoyable vocal melodies as well.
Disappointingly enough, it is hard to find much information at all anywhere online about Bluebeard. Do not let this deceive you, however, into thinking that Bluebeard did not make an impact with their single record. On YouTube there is a music video for their song “Room 501” that has over 200,000 views. Thousands of people are giving this attention nearly a decade after the bands break up and only release. This goes to show how influential this short lived band really was and ads wonder on how many just as talented underground bands in the world there are that are not getting much exposure. While Bluebeard did not bring anything new to the table, they showcased a well crafted emo album that should not be overlooked.