Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Blue Ajay has been creating music for well over a decade now. Having spent much of that time using the moniker Booze Monkey on his own and with his former partner of Joel Ludwig, Blue Ajay released several albums that found him combining several musical genres in order to create music that was different and unique. While mainly based in the Blues, much of his stuff ventured well outside of that genre to become something much more. The inclusion of Rock and Roll, Techno and even some ambient sounds helped to shape the music of Booze Monkey. At least, for the later portion of that project’s existence. The last release from Blue Ajay under the Booze Monkey moniker, The New Mythology E.P, was released in 2014.
Only a few years later, Blue Ajay has returned to creating music. This time, however, Blue Ajay created his first new release under his own name. The new album from Blue Ajay is entitled Meatball Surgery.
Meatball Surgery begins with the track “Smoodles,” a track about combining the concept of smooches with doodles to create “smoodles,” a new way of “signing off” when writing a letter to someone special. The first thing you will notice with the song is that it contains the signature sound that made Booze Monkey’s last couple of albums so unique. You can consider Blue Ajay’s a combination of straight-out Rock and Roll with plenty of Alternative Rock elements thrown in. That unique take on Rock and Roll comes from Blue Ajay creating his music on his own. And that style definitely inhibits the body of “Smoodles” as the listener will no doubt feel as they put the album on.
As the album of Meatball Surgery moves from one track to the next, the listener will notice that Blue Ajay never stays in one musical frame of mind for more than one song.
Each track has its own style and feel. Which would explain why the second track of “Junko Joe” sounds nothing like “Smoodles”. With “Junko Joe,” Blue Ajay combines Rock and Roll with a little Reggae vibe, but just a little. The track’s unique rhythms in the music make the song just as unique as the previous song of “Smoodles”. “Junko Joe” is the story about a man who finds himself moving through the criminal system because of personal choices. While the subject matter may not be very positive, the song’s rhythms make it fun to listen to.
With the track of “Sexy, Evil Genius,” Blue Ajay creates one of the more straight-forward Rock and Roll songs on the release. The track’s music features an equal amount of Rock and Roll and Punk elements to create a track that has a very timeless feel to the music. In fact, the track sort of sounds like early Rolling Stones with that aforementioned Punk influence thrown in.
As mentioned before, no two songs from Blue Ajay sound alike. On the song “Drunk in the Morning,” the musician creates a track that features an acoustic guitar as the focal point of the song. And although it is an acoustic guitar, don’t let that throw you: Blue Ajay still creates a track with plenty of energy. In fact, the song features a very driving pace to the music. Along with that driving pace, Blue Ajay sings the song as if his voice has become coarse because of shouting for hours at a time (perhaps like when someone is drunk). The result is a track in “Drunk in the Morning” that comes across as a whole lot of fun to listen to.
On the song “January Grave,” Blue Ajay returns to his roots…sort of. Early in his days of using the moniker of Booze Monkey with his partner Joel Ludwig, the two created their version of Blues music. On “January Grave,” this is the very direction Blue Ajay takes on the song. The track about a brokenhearted man who has to bury a loved one once again features an acoustic guitar as the focal point. The song’s lyrics are delivered with plenty of pain in the vocals. While the track is mainly acoustic, Blue Ajay does include an electric guitar to play the solo on the track. As the Blues were a big part of his life for a while, it’s nice to hear that Blue Ajay still includes them in his music from time to time as he does on “January Grave”.
Perhaps the strongest track on the entire Meatball Surgery album from Blue Ajay has to “Nickel”. The track finds Blue Ajay creating an Alternative Rock track that also seems to contain a good deal of Blues influence in the music. The main keyboards in the track add a lot of texture to the music as they seem to add a slight electric guitar vibe to the track. The song also includes a slight New Wave feel to the music. The New Wave elements come courtesy of other keyboards that add a definite eighties vibe to the sound for a few measures. One of the more interesting moments on the track is the ukulele solo that happens late in the song. The track of “Nickel” has one of the more commercial feels of the tracks that help make up the album.
The Meatball Surgery album comes to an end with the track “Holding up a Dollar”. While the rest of the tracks that make up the release contain lyrics, “Holding up a Dollar” features an instrumental feel to the music. Blue Ajay creates a fast moving song on this track that features the electric guitar. The track ends up feeling like one big guitar solo as Blue Ajay creates a riff that last from the first note until the track ends a short minute and seventeen seconds later.
Meatball Surgery from Blue Ajay is a strong album that features ten very different tracks through its playtime. But once the initial ten tracks come to an end, the listener gets to experience the entire release again; this time as a completely instrumental album. The inclusion of the instrumental version of the album helps to make Meatball Surgery from Blue Ajay one of the more unusual albums you’ll get to experience.
To check out the music of Blue Ajay, click HERE for the video to the song “Nickel“.
Click on the album cover below to purchase a copy of Meatball Surgery from Blue Ajay.