I can still remember the first time I heard Coldplay's
Parachutes. I thought to myself, "Wow. That English
guy is doing his best-damned Dave Matthews impression.
Only like all British bands, they've taken it and made it so much
better." And then, earlier this year when I heard Blue
Merle for the first time, I found myself thinking, "Wow.
This American guy is doing his best-damned Chris Martin-singing-Dave
Matthews impression." Despite all the stories you may or
may not have heard that Blue Merle took their name from a Led
Zeppelin song, I'm fairly certain that if you are into harder
rocking music, you will be sorely disappointed. However, if you
are into amazing college rock-style acoustic music, but find Dave
Matthews far too girly and whiny for your tastes, then you are
most certainly in luck.
Burning In The Sun takes all the best pieces of the aforementioned
identical sounding acts and adds their own unique take on the
now familiar sound. The band easily works fiddle into the mix
at times, drawing out the Dave Matthews reference a little more
clearly. But most importantly, Blue Merle straps on mandolins
and other Americana/folk instruments to create some nice, smooth
sounding rock music. Will your girlfriend dig it? You bet. Will
you get beaten up for listening to it? Probably not. The songs
are well written, the arrangements beautifully orchestrated, and
the lyrical content stronger than most of what passes for AAA
rock these days. "If I Could" is a perfect example of
sublime pop music, with lush strings beautifully underpinning
classical guitar arpeggios and vocals that seethe with emotion.
"Lucky To Know You" will easily make a believer out
of any that doubt. The song is made up of jangling guitars and
throbbing bass lines set to a perfect drumbeat.
These songs are certain to bring about a summer mood, as most
tend to be somewhat light feeling. But do not be easily fooled,
the subject matter of the lyrics is often as heavy as any Leonard
Cohen song. The music will surely cause toe-tapping and smiles,
and is sure to be a hit with anyone who is a fan of either Coldplay
or the Dave Matthews Band.
1. Burning In The Sun
2. If I Could
3. Lucky To Know You
5. Every Ship Must Sail Away
6. Boxcar Racer
7. Made To Run
8. Seeing Through You
10. Part Of Your History
11. Either Way It Goes
12. Bittersweet Memory
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