Blue2Noise
"Shapes and Lines"

(Self-Released 2002)Blue2Noise - Shapes and Lines

Listening to Blue2Noise's "Shapes and Lines" is like listening to the band mature within the context of sixteen songs. They start off on the right foot, some minor difficulties, and by the end are feeling invincible and are, in comparison to a few songs before, taking chances. With a new age indie pop sound, the band build up to stronger vocals and more complex lyrics and sounds by the time the long, but surprisingly not dragging, 70-some minute album ends.

Instrumentally, Blue2Noise never waiver; in that part they are definitely strong. But the simple lyrics early on, like "I would walk barefoot for you/If you asked me to" from "Pontiac Crash," are quickly showed up. Like on the pop radio friendly "Out of Time," for example: "Why does it always seem to rain?/Somehow sunny days/just never seem to follow me/every time that's how I feel/something's just not right/it's a sense I get, it must be real." Blue2Noise show their first signs of musical ambition, or as they describe it, "moody meditation," on the humbly titled "My Masterpiece," which employs vibes in a particularly non-pop way.

With the 80s/Depeche Mode wanna-be "Seamless," Blue2Noise deserve credit for trying something different, within the lines of the album, and, especially for, pulling it off. The popish sound returns, however, on the vaguely familiar sounding "Gravity Pulls" that finally earns drummer Al Higuera some praise for his unfailing and adapting drum style throughout the album. By the end, the band has branched off to display their more ambitious side. "Today Again" is one of the strongest instrumentally, adding texture and taking a sharp turn with the rough barrage towards the end. Ending the album with a bang, "Shapes and Lines" finishes as simply as it started. Except with "Portrait of Liliana," Blue2Noise demonstrate more power and confidence.

While Blue2Noise are consistently strong musically, there are some things in need of minor tweaking. Their range of sounds and influences are truly blended together, making the new age sounding use of vibes pop without overdoing anything and still making an album you could listen to for relaxing. Blue2Noise are soft at their core but have enough rhythm to keep your attention and avoid monotony.

A-

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