There are two types of electronica in the world: the kind that takes electronic instruments and makes an ethereal, human element out of such digital means, and the kind that gets sold to coffee customers while flying under the banner of “arty”, when in fact they’re just pop-songs wrapped up in enough reverb to drown in. Blue Stone falls in the latter category. Copping a feel from orchestral electronic masters E.S. Posthumus, the producers behind Blue Stone (Robert Smith and Bill Walters) manage to build mid-tempo dance beats and liquid piano notes around an anonymous array of feather-voiced vixens who deliver lyrics that typify the term “cliché”. However, Blue Stone knows that sometimes atmosphere is all you need, and on Worlds Apart, they have it in spades. Sure, they might be eight years late in copping the beat from Madonna’s “Frozen”, but it still works majestically for the song “Tears” (and the man who produced said Madge song—William Orbit—holds a heavy presence over this entire project). Each song has its own unique characteristics, but Smith & Walters know little of restraint: the album’s 16 tracks clock in at 74 minutes, and halfway through the beats and orchestral-ambitions blur together. The parts may be better than the whole, but when the group is constantly trying to outgrow itself, there just might be the day when Blue Stone moves out of the New Age section and into something much more lasting and significant.
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// Notes from the Road
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