I’m a big supporter of Bleu McAuley and all of his projects, so that’s why I got this album. And yes, it’s actually an album, not a CD or a digital download (although it came with a digital copy, which is great since I don’t have a record player). For this review, I’ll be using the track listing of the downloads that came with the limited edition vinyl.
The album is okay. It’s not bad by any stretch, but it’s not all that great, either. The alternate versions (“No Such Thing As Love” from A Watched Pot and “How Blue” and “In Love with My Lover” from Four) are better on the albums they were originally released on. The songs that I did get attached to (“Can’t Be That Bad (If It Feels this Good),” “Don’t Take It Personally,” and “The Blame Game”) felt familiar because they were. I had already heard them on the Four/AWP Bonus EP.
Then there was the stuff that was too poppy for me. I’ve liked the pop aspect of Bleu’s music, but it always felt like it was a raw kind of pop, almost indie pop, if such a thing is possible. “Blow Up the Radio” is straight-ahead pop, although it might feel more comfortable in the late ‘70s or early ‘80s. It’s far and away my least favorite track on the album.
There’s a shortage of upbeat and up-tempo songs, and I think that’s a shame. I really like singing along to Bleu’s stuff, and it’s hard to do with this set. I can do it, I just don’t get into it.
I don’t like grading or rating things. I think it’s arbitrary because everybody is influenced differently. I will say that if you like Bleu, you’ll probably like this for the most part. You won’t be disappointed at spending $9 or $10 on it through Amazon or iTunes (click the links to go right to the download pages). I dropped a smidge more to get the limited edition vinyl with a personalized autograph on it. I’m a nerd like that, and I do not regret the extra money I spent.
I’m also including this video for “No Such Thing as Love.” This is the version off of A Watched Pot, not from this album. The song just rips your heart out, and the women in the video are incredibly gorgeous.