REVIEW: Blue - "Holly's Song"

By Mike Ventarola

Chain Border

Holly's SongBlue, the artist's real and legal name according to his web site, conceived, wrote, composed, arranged, produced and performed all the work on this disc. The premise behind this CD is as follows:

"Holly's Song is the story of a suicidal artist who survives on the love of his soul mate. The two buy a home together. A simple accident takes his love. He mourns for a year while planning his own death. He finds solace in resignation. During this time, he is visited through a haze of bourbon and dreams. He finds himself in the grips of an inexplicable fear. What could one who is preparing to die fear?"

The opening track, Glimpse, may be somewhat of a shocker since it delves into crossover style metal which was predominant in the sixties and seventies. Unless you are a fan of this style, this track can seem to drag on a bit endlessly, particularly if you were expecting something "goth." Chrissy unfolds with mandolin style acoustic sounds that are very well done. Vocally, however, there seems to be a stagnation with intonal pitch.

The Disintegration of Content begins the morose elements of this work, with spoken words that are slightly discernable just under the surface. The track is all piano notes which fuses jazz and goth sentiments. Daffodils veers into more traditional goth fare with the darker background sweeping an airy dark brushstroke. The vocals are not classically trained, however, there still seems to be more of a focus on delivering the lyric rather than feeling it. Don't get me wrong, Blue seems to put emotion into the lyrics, but when the same intonation is used line after line, it seems to be too contrived and unemotional. Crumbled is the stand out track with the background vocals and harmonies, despite the fact that this song would have fit right in with the heyday of the sixties.

The main contention is that there was just too much of Blue on here. Having a "goth drama in four acts" without an array of other characters can be quite endless for the listener. If a few other characters were included, and other artists were able to merge their talents via background vocals or instrument playing, it possibly would have given the work a bit more of a three dimensional effect that it was seemingly reaching for. However the songs seem to drag on with the similar vocal inflections and intonations that after a point took away from the musical skill of the artist and the embodiment of the storyline.

Throughout the CD there are a multifaceted array of styles and hybrids that are utilized to create this work. If you are into alternative music, retro stylization or musical art, this may appeal to you. On the whole, however, the fact that so many outdated styles seemed to be incorporated into this project didn't warrant and desire for multiple listenings. The lack of skillful inflection only further sealed this sentiment.

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Contact Information:
Post: Sanity Check Musec, Inc., P.O. Box 179, Boyce, VA, 22620, USA

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