Album: Blue Background: Are You Listening
Street Date: July 2004
From: Milwaukee, WI
Reviewed by: Brian
Buy it: CD Baby
Originally from Fort Wayne, Indiana, Blue Background (Sarah Mick: guitar/vocals, Maggie Tielker: keyboards/vocals, Christopher Christen: bass guitar, Carlyle Nowak: drums) has spent the past five years trying to make a name for themselves. Their albums and live shows have been recieved very well, especially in the midwest where they've done most of their touring the past two years. With the 2004 EP Are You Listening, Blue Background took another step towards defining their musical style and securing a place in the mainstream music scene.
1. Through To You - The CD starts with an upbeat track that will get you to tap your foot. The music is a nice mix of guitar, drums, and keys that while still retaining a pop integrity, give off a rock sense. The vocals flow well with the music as they too are upbeat. Lyrical content is good.
2. Blame it All On You - Another upbeat track that will keep you moving, mostly guitar-driven. Smooth vocals, kind of a song you could be crusing down the highway to with the windows down.
3. Anything from Anyone - This is more of a classical guitar driven pop song. Strong lyrics, good melody. Strong vocals.
4. Given Up - The first slower song on the album. It fits into the pop ballad song genre. Strong song lyrically and vocally. It is a good changeup song from the first three that were upbeat and made you tap your foot, this one will get you to sway back and forth.
5. Radio - We go back to a more rock focused sound musically. The vocals and lyrics are pretty interesting, and go hand in hand well. The vocal style delivery to this song is interesting, it adds a nice dynamic to the song. The song fades in and fades out with the sound of someone tuning a radio dial, I thought it was kind of cool.
6. This Time - Probably the best song on the album in my opinion, This Time is very melodic in it's mid-to-up temo music. You can really hear the keyboard work shine through on this track, kind of sounding like the an organ. The vocals are delivered calmly, but in a good way to flow with the music well. Another solid song lyrically.
7. From the Start - A good way to end the album, this is another upbeat song heavily driven by guitar and drums. Vocally and lyrically, the song is a bit experimental, but it sounds nice over the melody of the music.
For a 7 song EP, this CD knocks the ball out of the ballpark. It showcases the best of Blue Background's musical ability and gives the listener great material. It also gives BB a great advantage in that the instrumentation and vocal arrangements used on the CD translate very well to live performances.
Currently, Blue Background is out and about performing at several summer music festivals around the midwest. They will be going back into the studio sometime this fall to record another EP. For more information visit bluebackground.com.
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