Blue October – Foiled (CD)

“You Make Me Smile” is perhaps the most eclectic single that any band has ever came out with. In this track, Blue October touches on hints of Momus, Modest Mouse, and Cake all in rapid secession; where Blue October ultimately settles into is something that seems like a more amped-up, secular version of the Newsboys meets Crazy Town. The band goes to so many places during their “Foiled” that individuals will feel as if they’ve been on a seven-continent tour. Who knows whether Blue October is serious with their music?

There are so many tracks here that can be taken in a Sparks-like way, but my sense is that Blue October uses any tools available to their disposal to come up with the best tracks. This is why songs like “She’s My Ride Home” sound so odd, but yet fitting. Blue October could take so many shortcuts with their music, but they want each transition and even each syllable sung to be in perfect harmony with the rest of the syllables on the disc. In a land of single-based tracks, “Foiled” is a disc-oriented album that stands out starkly. Where the tracks previously dealt with mainly rock styles, “Into The Ocean” is a song that would almost seem fitting to a Duran Duran album. The inclusion of very emotionally-impacting synthesizers to the Blue October track gives “Into The Ocean” a quaint, “Trans”-era Neil Young type of sound. Blue October have made a mix tape out of their CD, and like smart mix tape creators, Blue October has centered all the tracks on this disc along one specific theme.

“What If We Could” keeps a few of the aural artifacts from “Into The Ocean”, but moves four or five steps further into a Nine Inch Nails meets Stabbing Westward type of sound. There are no barriers, no genres that Blue October find themselves unable to pass through. “Foiled” is where pop rock bands should go with their next album; this ironic title is ironic because Blue October simply cannot be foiled in any capacity. I might not have known about Blue October before this album came to my attention, but “Foiled” is put together so well that I may even be compelled to search out their other albums and see their progression to this, their “magnum opus”. The equivalent to a college survey course, “Foiled” is the one album that every high school band needs to pick up in 2006.

Top Tracks: What If We Could, You Make Me Smile

Rating: 7.5/10

Blue October – Foiled / 2006 Universal / 13 Tracks / http://www.blueoctoberfan.com / http://www.umusic.com / Reviewed 29 June 2006

[JMcQ]

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