Up/Down – Brando Records [Release date 23.10.20]
The tenth studio album from Blue October recorded during the current pandemic. All bar two of the album’s thirteen songs were solely written by Justin Furstenfeld. Producer Eric Holtz is another key element to Blue October’s sound as he is heavily involved in the musical side of the album. Surprisingly this hasn’t faired as well as previous albums just missing out on the US Billboard album charts top 100, peaking at 102.
Like any Blue October album Justin Furstenfeld doesn’t hold back lyrically or emotionally. You would be hard pushed to hear a singer more emotive when singing his songs. There is plenty of positivity – ‘Fight For Love’ (which features his daughter Blue Reed’s first recording!) and the title track, featuring Longwave’s Steve Schiltz Blue Reed. However, the demons of the past still get acknowledged on opener ‘I Laugh At Myself’ and ‘Moving On (So Long)’, which has the pop appeal to draw in fans of say Train.
They certainly hit the melodic pop sweet spot on ‘I Will Follow’, whilst ‘Completely’ will become a romantic tune for many I am sure.
The guitars may have dropped out of much of the band’s sound but they have replaced this with addictive synths/effects and dance beats. ‘Who Do You Run From’ is a good example where the acoustic guitar gives way to piano/keys and cinematic outro. Impressive listening that’s for sure.
2020, more than any other year in recent times, needed good music to help us through and Blue October have scored again. Fans will be pleased with the band’s latest musical delights that’s for sure. ****
Review by Jason Ritchie
The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk was streamed on Sunday 20 December., imbued with a festive flavour to raise the spirits
More about Josh: http://getreadytorock.me.uk/blog/?s=%22Josh+Taerk%22
David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 20 December 2020 and announces the results of the Popular Poll for Best of 2020.
UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 20 December 2020 and includes Pete’s best of the year selections
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Featured Albums w/c 11 January 2021 (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 UNRULY CHILD Our Glass House (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 SERGEANT STEEL Truck Tales (Boyz Tyme Records)
14:00-16:00 DAN REED Liftoff (Zero Entertainment)
Power Plays w/c 11 January 2021 (Mon-Fri)
BLACK SPIDERS – Good Times (Dark Riders Records/Cargo Records)
GRAVITY MACHINE Standing Stones (Zyse Records)
EMPIIRES Love Or Hate (TLG Entertainment/INgrooves)
RAY FENWICK Tam Tam (Singsong Music)
DEAD REYNOLDS Voices (The Fort)
LAYLA ZOE Don’t Wanna Help Anyone (indie)
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