Sunday, May 31, 2009

Blue October - History For Sale

Discovered in a Coconuts Record Store by mistake, I did not know what to expect from Blue October. I was in the store searching for some Pearl Jam rarities when History For Sale was put on the house system. By the time the second song, Clumsy Card House filled the airwaves; I went right to the front desk and asked the clerk what was playing. Needless to say, I purchased the CD and certainly was not disappointed.

From the first notes of the opening track, it was apparent this CD was going to be something special. Ugly Side, the opening track of History For Sale, starts with haunting violin strings that draw the listener in and sets up for what turns out to be a fantastic leadoff song. Justin Furstenfeld sings with a smooth, heartfelt voice that compliments the music perfectly. “I only want you to see my favorite part of me/and not my ugly side” the chorus sings, enticing us all to remember that there are parts of ourselves that we would rather no one else knew, especially our new lovers.

The CD kicks into high gear for the third track, Razorblade. The heaviest song on the disc, Razorblade is a medley of loud, grinding guitars, heavy pounding drums, and angry cries of fear and frustration. It’s a great song to take your anxieties out on by wailing along at the top of your lungs.

Calling You is a romantic and sweet song that I learned all of the lyrics to by the third listen. It is an easy song to follow along and you’ll have it memorized by the fourth or fifth play. The lyrics are heartwarming and beautiful and the musical tune is catchy, one that will stick in your eardrum long after the song has stopped playing.

History For Sale dips slightly after Calling You, but I think that is more of a testament to how great that song is. The next few songs are memorable, but they lack the pop and zest that the first songs have. They don’t deliver the kick in the gut and the slap in the face that the earlier songs did.

The CD grabs hold again for Inner Glow, which is about rediscovering yourself and your passion. Furstenfeld sings with conviction about overcoming self-doubt and remembering who you are and finding the power to rise to the top again, which is your Inner Glow.

The CD ends on a clunker titled Amazing. It closes out with similar violins that opened the CD, but the song lacks potency. The best part of the last track however is the hidden bonus track – an acoustic version of Calling You which is SO worth the wait. It is a musical contrast to the original Calling You, but both versions are spectacular and powerful.

History For Sale does not disappoint by any stretch of the imagination. It is worthy of the investment of your money and your time, as it will be spun multiple times in your CD player. It’s a disc worth telling your friends about, and if you do, they’ll think that you’re cooler than you are, because of your great taste in music.

Ryo’s Rating: 8 (out of 10)

Track Listing
Ugly Side
Clumsy Card House
Calling You
Chameleon Boy
Sexual Powertrip (One Big Lie) Bla Bla
A Quiet Mind
3 Weeks, She Sleeps
Inner Glow
Come in Closer

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