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The Complex

Blue Man Group

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Album Review

After devoting more than 15 years to building their unique fusion of edgy performance and advanced yet home-brewed technologies, the Blue Man Group moves aggressively toward the mainstream with The Complex. "Mainstream" is, of course, a flexible notion, so what passes as commercial for these guys is a lot more adventurous than most of the era's ear candy. These tracks adhere to clear song structures, with guest vocalists singing actual lyrics on original as well as cover material; a zombie-like cameo by Dave Matthews on "Sing Along" offers the wryest surprises. But an unmistakable imprint endures in the eclectic sonic references and, above all, thundering stage-oriented rhythms. The core members of the group play traditional instruments — in this case, ranging from standard-issue electric guitar to Hungarian cimbalom, heard most clearly in the opening seconds of "Above" — as well as their invented gear whose contributions to the din are, frankly, neither critical nor easy to discern. On their version of the disco classic "I Feel Love," for instance, the 16th-note pulse created via sequencer for the Donna Summer original is mimicked by the device they call the Tube, giving rise to the question of whether using something new to do what someone else did with old stuff 20-plus years earlier is worth the effort. But this is, of course, beside the point: Although its inspirations, musical and conceptual, trace as far back as Kraftwerk, The Complex serves as a reminder that modern devices and glistening production values can be applied to the most primal creative instincts, if utilized by the right — blue — hands. ~ Robert L. Doerschuk, Rovi

Customer Reviews

its alright...

great songs, but hearing them here doesn't give them justice. This is no-where near like hearing them live.
They are so much better live, so hold on to your money until they release a Live - LP (if they do...) :)


Formed: 1987

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Experimental musical theater troupe the Blue Man Group were founded in 1987 by longtime friends Matt Goldman, Phil Stanton, and Chris Wink; identical in their blue-painted skin, skullcaps, and black clothing, they soon became a fixture of the New York underground performance art scene thanks to their regular appearances in Central Park, followed by shows at noted East Village spaces including Dixon Place, Performance Space 122, and the Wooster Group's Performing Garage. Equal parts play, concert,...
Full bio
The Complex, Blue Man Group
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  • £8.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music, Classical
  • Released: 22 April 2003

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