Chris Isaak
Forever Blue


4.0
excellent

Review

by manosg STAFF
February 24th, 2019 | 12 replies


Release Date: 1995 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The soundtrack of a lost love.

When you think of Chris Isaak, adjectives like smooth and sleek may come into your mind, and for good reason. The man has a silky voice and a knack for creating great melodies, while his songwriting sounds influenced by legends like Roy Orbison and Ricky Nelson. Back in 1995, Isaak was already a household name, having released two solid albums in San Francisco Days (1993) and Heart Shaped World (1989), which included his most well-known song in “Wicked Game”. Nevertheless, it’s on this album where he realized his full potential as a songwriter.

In a nutshell, Forever Blue is still that fine slab of rockabilly like its predecessors, but it’s more focused, consistent and features more interesting songwriting. Isaak’s voice is at its best as he sounds like a cross between Elvis and Roy Orbison, whereas when he screams “feel like crying” on the dark and sexy “Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing”, the great Ian Astbury comes to mind. However, Isaak’s velvety voice and trademark croons are not the only takeaways here. There are also those little subtleties like the guitar leads on the driving “Graduation Day” or the clever use of the Hammond on "Go Walking Down There" which provides a genuine retro vibe. And of course, most people are familiar with “Somebody's Crying“ or the aforementioned John Lee Hooker-esque “Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing”, which even if you don’t know that it was featured in Eyes Wide Shut you’d think that it would fit like a glove in a Stanley Kubrick or a David Lynch film. However, it’s the other cuts that make Forever Blue an all-around great album like “Changed Your Mind”, “Forever Blue” or “Shadows in a Mirror”, as they complete the LP’s overall atmosphere and theme of lost love. As a result, it’s no surprise that the more upbeat tracks such as “I Believe” and “There She Goes”, even though needed in order to break the monotony, don’t work as well as the equally upbeat "Go Walking Down There", which has a certain charm compared to the aforementioned cuts.

Despite the above hiccups which make the second half of the album less solid than the first one, this is still a great listen. Most people out there have connected Chris Isaak’s fifth release with a lost love, and for good reason, but it’d be a shame to limit the instances of experiencing such a fine effort (unless you go through a breakup quite often, of course). Indeed, Forever Blue’s emotional impact may be boosted after a breakup, but it is still an excellent and very accessible listen even for those who are in a happy place and unfamiliar with Isaak’s music.



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user ratings (28)
Chart.
4.3
superb

Comments:Add a Comment 
manosg
Staff Reviewer
February 24th 2019


11555 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This one had to have a review, so I took one for the team. Hope you enjoy.

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DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
February 24th 2019


15209 Comments


Sweet rev mansog. Never heard of this guy, think I might check him out after this

manosg
Staff Reviewer
February 24th 2019


11555 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks Gonzo. If you're into mellow rockabilly stuff, you'll probably enjoy this one.

joshieboy
February 24th 2019


6477 Comments


Listened to a lot of Isaak during my childhood as my mother was a big fan. Haven't listened to him in a long time but this has definitely made me want to go back and listen to his stuff. Must have heard Wicked Game at least 100 times in my life but it never gets old. As classic as a song can get.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
February 24th 2019


11555 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Agreed, Wicked Game never gets old. Jammed a few of his albums these days but found this one the most interesting of all.

bloc
February 24th 2019


54727 Comments


Thought this guy was a one hit wonder tbh

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mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
February 24th 2019


621 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

good album that drags a little throughout

BenThatsMyJamin
February 24th 2019


2389 Comments


Wow 4.4 - big if true

JustMe2222
February 24th 2019


1 Comments


sorry, but it reads like a typo, "“I Believe”, “There She Goes” and “I Believe”,"

I disagree that Go Walkin Down There is upbeat... "Look at all you lucky people, think of all the things you do. Look at all you happy people, wish I could be like you." In a live setting this rock song rattles the stage (a bit of anger in it!).

Try his later CD's: Always Got Tonight (One Day track), Speak of the Devil (Wanderin), and First Comes the Night (Please Dont Call, and the title track)

manosg
Staff Reviewer
February 25th 2019


11555 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks JustMe2222, nice catch. As far as Go Walking Down There is concerned, I meant upbeat in terms of instrumentation rather than lyrics, where you're correct, it's far from upbeat haha.

deslad
March 3rd 2019


633 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice review manos. Solid album and great artist, however I am not so keen on his croons.

Digging: Van Morrison - Veedon Fleece

manosg
Staff Reviewer
March 3rd 2019


11555 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

haha this is understandable, des.



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