Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Drink A Toast To Innocence: A Tribute To Lite Rock

Here's your chance to hear the Lite Rock classics of the late '70s and early '80s, reimagined and reinterpreted by some of the best indie pop artists of today.
Drink A Toast To Innocence: A Tribute To Lite Rock is out April 29, 2013.

To quote Mr. Curry:"As a kid in the late '70s, I used to call these songs and others like them "Putt-Putt music," because I vividly remember hearing them blaring from the sound system at the miniature golf course where I spent my summers. Years later, while chatting with buddies in my college dorm room, I realized that I wasn't alone in my (secret) fondness for these songs. It was those college friends and I who ran with the idea of "Monsters of Lite Rock" and endlessly debated which songs and bands could really lay claim to the Lite Rock brand. (Manilow? No way, dude.) 
And now, more than twenty years later, I'm still talking about this stuff, and I've taken things one step further. I've enlisted dozens of my favorite current musicians to reimagine and reinterpret the Lite Rock songs that defined my childhood. Mike Viola, Bleu, Linus of Hollywood, Kyle Vincent, and almost two dozen more amazing artists from the world of indie pop and power pop have submitted some absolutely brilliant reinterpretations of these old favorites."

Track list (2CD Edition):
1. Michael Carpenter - We Don't Talk Anymore
2. The Davenports - Just When I Needed You Most
3. Kyle Vincent - How Much I Feel
4. Lisa Mychols - Don't Give Up On Us
5. Throwback Suburbia - I Love You
6. David Myhr - The Things We Do For Love
7. Mike Ruekberg - Believe It Or Not
8. Kelly Jones - I'd Really Love To See You Tonight
9. Paul Bertolino - Just Remember I Love You
10. Eytan Mirsky - Escape (The Piña Colada Song)
11. Plasticsoul - Sentimental Lady
12. Popdudes - Magnet And Steel
13. Joe Giddings - Undercover Angel
14. Mike Viola - Steal Away
15. An American Underdog - Thunder Island
16. Bleu - Baby Come Back
17. Brandon Schott - Thank You For Being A Friend
18. The Sonic Executive Sessions - On And On
19. Linus Of Hollywood - More Than I Can Say
20. Greg Pope - Crazy Love
21. Lannie Flowers - Dance With Me
22. Wyatt Funderburk - Bluer Than Blue
23. Vegas With Randolph - Cool Change
24. Seth Swirsky - Shannon
25. Cliff Hillis - Shake It
26. Paul Myers - Wildfire
27. Sunshine On Mars - Fooled Around And Fell In Love
28. Willie Wisely - So Into You

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Bleu - To Hell With You (Review)

So, here it is: To Hell With You, the fifth record auf Bleu. Also crowd funded like the previous album FOUR, To Hell With You was financially even more successful than its forerunner. You can still pledge for the record at Pledgemusic (get signed CDs, house concerts - and much more!).

The big question is: Was it worth it?
In my humble opinion: YES! (with a little "but...")

It was known the record would be very different from FOUR. More electronic, even more experimental. And that's right. It IS different. Did anyone expect rap parts? Or Eurodance?

Now for the tracks:

Overture - The album starts with a lovely orchestral intro of what to expect later.

To Hell With You - The title track reveals: this record is very different than everything before. Very electronic, in parts even kind of Eurodance.

All Downhill From Here - This one is more familiar with the Bleu sound including lots of snapping fingers.

In My Own Little World - Delightful, uplifting! Like it!

Merry-Go-Round - Man, I love this intro. The song is catchy as hell!

I Have To Have You - A dark slow song which interrupts the mostly upbeat tunes on the record.

It’s Not Over (‘Til It’s Over And Done) - With the help of David Mead created this one is pure ear candy.

Grasping At Straws - Intense, huge, great! My favourite song from the record.

Bottom Of My Heart - A duet with Alexz Johnson, a radio airplay friendly song that reminds me a lot of the chart successful duets from the nineties. You know, the kind of duet of a man and a woman, like Robbie Williams & Kylie Minogue, Meja & Ricky Martin, George Micheal & Elton John ...errr....

Endwell - It starts innocent, reaches its climax in a extremely catchy chorus and than ... Rap! Rap? Yes. Well, it fits.

Odd Future - Rap aagaaain! And even more present than in Endwell. It's love at the second sight. And I begin to like it *cough*

Won’t Make It Out Alive - The record finishes with a more familiar sound. I loved this song from the first time I listened to it.

Hidden Track - After seven minutes of silence there's a laid-back, very Bleuesque tune about the Mexian city Zihuatanejo hidden.
I love these hidden tracks. It's like "surpriiiise - you didn't expect that but ... there is more!".

One song I expected to be on To Hell With You is missing: Coming Up For Air. This is sad, it would fit good on this album.

To sum it up: To Hell With You is a compelling, strong record. In parts it's the best Bleu has ever done. But it has its edges. Not everybody who likes the "old" Bleu will like the "new" one.
I do.
But give me some time with the rap parts, okay?

By the way, there's a lot to come: the album cover has yet to be revealed, CD release is coming in May 2013, the Redhead Record Club ....

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Eric Barao - Eric Barao

Eric Barao - Eric Barao

Eric Barao is a powerpop singer-songwriter and co-founder of The Cautions, a band from Boston. His self titled debut album was co-produced by Bleu, and recorded / mastered by Ducky Carlisle at Ice Station Zebra. 

Eric Barao cover

The album is a collection of power-pop gems and it's a beautiful reminiscence of bands like Jellyfish (On Holiday), Owsley, Jon Brion (Alive - But Barely Breathing), Pugwash (In Love With A Broken Heart) or Fountains Of Wayne (To All You Guys).  Ten songs, no filler - an impressive debut record, Mr. Barao!


Buy it at CDBaby - a great shop with the best shipping confirmation emails ever! (I won't spoil anything here) or at the official website for a signed copy.