Bleu needs no introduction to readers of my blog, so I will cut right to the chase and tell you that his new record, “A Watched Pot” is nothing short of brilliant. I believe my hunch that this record would be an instant classic (read here) was right on the money. What does it sound like? Well, not quite “Twisted Sister meets Mister Mister”, as Bleu sings in “Boy Meets Girl”.
The first thing that struck me about the record was the number of slow to mid-tempo numbers. Nothing really accelerates much except the thrilling E.L.O. flavored “Kiss Me”, which could easily have been written during his stint with L.E.O. – reviewed here). Normally a collection of slower tunes would be a turnoff for me, but these songs are so infectious, so meticulously produced, and so well sung that you forget their pace. Bleu sounds better than ever on this batch of tunes, pulling off some of the greatest vocal moments I’ve heard from him. Sandra McCracken (sounding very much like Sheryl Crow) duets with Bleu on the ballad “When the Lights Go Out” while The Get Up Choir contributes to “One Day”, giving both tracks that little something extra to make it special.
To add to the majesty, many of these songs are augmented by a lush orchestral background. Every track sounds like it was written and recorded with “this one is the hit single” in mind (with the possible exception of track 6, which has a most radio-unfriendly title!). My three instant favorites include “Save Me” (kind of like a runaway Train hit), “Come ‘n Go”, and “One Day”.
Overall, “A Watched Pot” boils over with hook after hook, spilling a very satisfying musical meal into your soup bowl…a musical soup so chunky that you’ll have to listen to it with a fork.
iPOD-worthy: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10