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Approaching Normal

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iTunes Review

“Weight Of The World,” the half-sung, half-narrated opening cut of Approaching Normal, originally appeared as a spoken-word bit on Blue October's 2005 live outing Argue With a Tree. But here singer Justin Furstenfeld’s catharsis is set to distant marching drums and ascending guitars as he croons, wails, recites poetry, and most impressively – pulls it off. Blue October tracked Approaching Normal at Willie Nelson’s Pedernales Studios with GRAMMY Award-winning producer Steve Lillywhite. (The second song, “Say It,” is the tune that convinced Lillywhite to work with the band.) With winding guitars, gauzy distortion effects and raspy vocals, “Say It” is reminiscent of early ‘90s recordings by the Catherine Wheel, but Furstenfeld eschews subtlety for ego-bruised lyrics. Where many singers of this ilk are overly cautious about playing it cool, Furstenfeld foregoes self-censorship for the kinds of words that magnify his personality flaws. “Kangaroo Cry” contrasts dramatic diary entry lyrics with mature and unpredictable song arrangements making for another song that somehow totally works.

Customer Reviews

Why the hate?

Why is it everytime people listen to something they don't expect from a band they jump to the conclusion that it's "their worst cd ever" or that they "aren't the REAL blue october." Look. This is blue october. they still make amazingly emotional, melodic, well constructed songs that they had made in their older songs. Yes, there sound isn't quite what it was in some of the earlier CD's, but I have those CD's for that sound if I want to hear it. This brings the same excellent Blue October sound fans have come to expect. Especially fond of Say it, My Never, Kangaroo Cry, and Blue Skies, but really just buy the cd. Great band. great album

Word Well Spoken!

At 59 years old I have heard many generations of Story Tellers...Justin you top my list of the Best of the Best. Your expression of emotions, crushed feelings, lost direction, drug addition, confession and the list can continue but I feel I have painted enough of the picture. Approaching Normal is what I feel the real deal when it come to commitment to forward personal growth and what better place to display your human success than through song. Justines wish to share his heart with thousands has been Blessed by GOD to share with millions....Justine-BELIEVE! The doors of your life are just begining to open. This is your best expression of truth...keep growing my friend!


I feel as if I've grown up with these guys. Every song from every album is a time machine into a piece of my life. With this album and the birth of my two lil girls, it blows my mind as I sit and listen to all my emotions play out in every lyric... Blue October is a once in a life time kind of band they dig deep into your mind with there heart stopping lyrics and the sounds of heaven play in the background...


Formed: 1996 in Houston, TX

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Texas quintet Blue October formed during the post-grunge boom of the mid-'90s when vocalist/guitarist Justin Furstenfeld began penning angst-ridden rock songs with the help of his brother, drummer Jeremy Furstenfeld, and violinist Ryan Delahoussaye. Bassist Liz Mullaly completed the band's initial lineup, and Blue October released an independent debut album, The Answers, in 1998. The band's emotive brand of post-grunge led to the sale of 5,000 copies in their native Houston alone. Two years later,...
Full Bio
Approaching Normal, Blue October
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