on 16 February 2013
So it's been ten years since Blue last recorded a studio album. Many things have changed since then, and i was worried that the band's comeback wouldn't be able to amend to the changing musical tastes of many of us nowadays. But, despite all of my worries, Blue have managed to evolve just enough to both stay true to their origins, yet fulfill the purpose of a modern boyband in today's industry.
HURT LOVERS: The band provide proof that they still withhold the ability to pull off the power ballad with succinct style and sophistication. They recreate the beauty of such classics as 'Guilty' and 'If You Come Back' with a pumping bass line fixed alongside a perfect harmony and a thumping drum beat. A perfect choice for the band's comeback single. (5/5) WITHOUT YOU: The band display the colours of their modern evolution with this chart-friendly anthem that has a universal appeal, and has just as much as chance of scoring a #1 record on the chart as today's fiercest competitors, One Direction and The Wanted. Simon's haunting vocals on the chorus are perhaps one of the band's finest, and most overlooked, moments. (5/5) BREAK YOUR HEART: Universal hitmaker RedOne hooks up with the band for their next effort, which makes use of some of his finest production successes, such as Lady Gaga, to produce a rip-roaring club anthem against a backdrop of pumping synths and and perfectly harmonised vocals, which in turn, is enough to deem this track a roaring success. (5/5) AYO: The band take a lyrical step in the wrong direction with this disaster, which relies too much on the heavy bassline rather than the quality of the lyrics, and destroying the vocals in the process. The band have produced much better efforts than this, and for me it's one of the two main downsides to the album. (3/5) RISK IT ALL: A fine example of an umtempo ballad, which is easily earmarked as one of the album's highlights through the easily mesmorising piano riff and soulful vocal arrangement, making this a track that will easily go down in history as one of the band's finest hours. (5/5) HEART ON MY SLEEVE: The band twist together elements of electronic, R&B and soul to create this dark, moody ballad which relies heavily on an amazing vocal partnership between Webbe and Costa. It's deep, and much different to the more mainstream area of the band's spectrum, but it works extremely well. (5/5)
WE'VE GOT TONIGHT: A sophisticated electric guitar riff kicks off this pumping club banger which sounds to be a smart mix of David Guetta and Slash. A raw, heavy dance number that provides the ideal hit that the band are so obviously looking for. (5/5) PARADISE: Tiny influences of Jamacian reggae, pumping synths and a pounding club bassline are the ingredients for this sensible, yet stylish uptempo number about taking the girl of your dreams to paradise. Intelligent, crafted and well thought out. (5/5) BLACK BOX: Webbe leads a stripped back, piano led anthem that, by using the sensitivity within the vocal range of each of the band members, allows us to paint a picture of a stricken love in the middle of the ocean. A perfect example of refined and simple, yet utterly perfect. (5/5) BROKEN: The band each enjoy a well crafted solo outing on this meeting of minds, that is designed to be as breathtaking as 'Hurt Lovers', but also has that little extra ingredient to round off the perfect track. Ideal choice for the band's next single. (5/5) BREAK YOU DOWN: An Asian influenced attempt at dubstep, combined with an out of this world guitar riff, are not enough to save this track from being so lyrically unadvanced that it completely drops it off the radar. Don't get me wrong, it's not awful, but there's nothing about it that makes it stand out either. (3/5) ALL I NEED: Stripped back to nothing but a piano riff, the band prove that they don't need to stand behind an array of pumping synths and manufactured beats to make good music, and that they all actually have very good powerful voices behind the facade. (5/5) I CAN: The highlight of the entire record, but maybe that's because in my opinion, it's the band's best track ever, without a doubt. How they didn't win eurovision with it, i'll never know. An anthem for the times, for the people. And an excellent idea to place it at the end of the album. (5/5)
So despite "Ayo" and "Break You Down" possibly being the weakest tracks on the record, the remainder is actually a fine example of Blue's musical evolution into the modern day industry that we all know and love. They stick firmly to their roots, but also prove that they have an ability to follow - and stick out - from the crowd. An excellent effort guys.
on 3 May 2013
I have always enjoyed Blue's music, each member has a great voice. When I heard "Hurt Lovers" on Radio 2 I loved it, this CD is brilliant, each song is different and a great CD to have in your collection. Unbelievable they have to release this in Germany first, they deserve to be on top of the CD charts and seeing out concerts !!
on 21 August 2015
I was really looking forward to this - but it's a big disappointment (for me). I loved the first 2-3 albums but this one just feels like it's trying too hard. I actually prefer Simon's solo tracks to these - because they have some soul about them, a sincerity. Roulette (for me) is too brash in parts - and has one eye on being commercial in others. And it seemed to me like there'd been an agreement to share the lead vocals equally, regardless of whether a song suited that person's voice. Feels to my like it needed a good, strong producer to guide them.
I tried and tried to get into it - but have now thrown it to the back of a cupboard and will go back to their earlier stuff and Simon's albums. Sad that they seem to have lost direction but, looking at all the 5* reviews on here, it must be hitting the spot for some people.
on 4 January 2014
Hi all , I bought this double CD edition thinking it would be a "nearly" complete remixes edition...
Then was the surprise : When you take a look at the back cover, it says that CD 2 runs 17 tracks including remixes and radio /single mixes; When you put your CD2 in your player, it says... 13 tracks only ! 4 are missing from the official tracklisting !
Can someone explain to me what happened? is thiis a CD production problem ?
This, as ususally, totally ruins the image of the music industry, which is nowadays totally inept....
on 8 May 2013
Blue should be very proud of themselves with this album. I first heard this album on mp3, and when I like an album I purchase the cd hard copy as the sound is far superior to my ears. I'm 42 and I wasn't a fan of Blue the first time round, except I loved Breathe Easy and I Can as heard them as singles.
I ordered the import version by mistake, however I am glad I did as the only difference is song 13 which is I Can on the import version which I love. I haven't stopped listening and there isn't a song that I don't like. Sorry that I'm rubbish at reviewing music, I just know that I love it and wanted others to hopefully be encouraged to give it a try, even if they weren't an "original" Blue fan. It's melodic and catchy. My fifteen year old son also likes it.