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Christopher Blue

Room Tones

(Sarathan; US: 17 Apr 2007; UK: Available as import)

Christopher Blue has a rather raspy, ragged delivery that generally works. Think of a slightly sleeker Tom Waits and a song such as “Ghost in the Night” seems to come to life quickly. Fans of singer-songwriters like Sondre Lerche, Andy Stochansky, and Danny Michel would enjoy this album, as it’s a bit mysterious and dark throughout. A perfect example of this comes about halfway through when Blue nails “The Moon I Dream Of” with just a hint of a typical Daniel Lanois arrangement thrown in for good measure. Throw in a touch of jazz and blues and it only adds to the album’s depth. “After All I’ve Heard You Say” is more of the delectable same, another smart mid-tempo pop song that has a jazzy underbelly. When Blue explores this jazz feel more, things don’t quite shine as much, although “Such Love” still has its fine moments. The ambling, shuffling song flows without a care in the world, but “Equanimity” definitely has more oomph or flavoring. Blue doesn’t make everything fantastic, though, with “Good Time Baby” the sort of song it would take a long time to warm up to (if ever). It’s quickly forgotten when “What You Need” has ample loads of soul that brings to mind the likes of David Gray. Blue is at his best, though, during the gorgeous, barren and acoustic-driven “Disquietude”.

Rating:

Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide, Billboard.com, NME.com, Country Standard Time, Skope Magazine, Chart Magazine, Glide, Ft. Myers Magazine and Celtic Heritage. A graduate of the University of King's College, MacNeil currently resides in Toronto. He has interviewed hundreds of acts ranging from Metallica and AC/DC to Daniel Lanois and Smokey Robinson. MacNeil (modestly referred to as King J to friends), a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, has seen the Rolling Stones in a club setting, thereby knowing he will rest in peace at some point down the road. Oh, and he writes for PopMatters.com.


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