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Burning In the Sun

Blue Merle

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Album Review

Blue Merle's debut takes a couple listens to sink in, but even then, it just misses sinking in deep enough. The beautiful, earthy but driven sonic landscape of Burning in the Sun instantly lets the listener know this is something unique, even as familiar acts like Counting Crows, Toad the Wet Sprocket, and David Gray are coming to mind. Blue Merle share a lot with these poignant popsters — wistful attitude, soft rock temperament, and that balance of weary and hopeful emotions — but what separates them is their more mature, more rustic musicianship and their frontman, Luke Reynolds. As a lyricist, he relies on shards of thoughts, fuzzy memories, and impressionistic bits of prose that don't paint a clear picture. Combine this with the delivery of an unrestrained, fancy-free Adam Duritz and an exquisitely talented band — an acoustic, front-porch version of Steely Dan — and it sounds like a winner. The only problem is, Blue Merle are so impassioned and so impressionistic that Burning in the Sun feels like it's slipping through the listener's fingers at times. That doesn't mean it's a bad album, but there's a more solid, sober, and satisfying album somewhere underneath all this ardor. Tracks like "Places" and "Every Ship Must Sail Away" have their feet firmly planted on the ground, but elsewhere, things get dreamy to the point of "mood music" that works perfectly when you're feeling rather rainy-day, but is annoying when you aren't. Blue Merle sound spirited away by this unique sound they've created, and it makes one think that all the loose ends will be addressed on their next record. Here, they're a bit too in love with their filigree, but it's a heartfelt, genuine sound worth any acoustic rock fan's attention.

Customer Reviews

Amazing people, amazing sound

I got to know this band to a great extent, since my brother was a member of it. Sadly, they broke up. These boys worked long and hard to get where they were, and its such a shame that all their talent went undiscovered by the big time producers. Ive read all the reviews, and all of them but one were all great and im so thrilled people really appreciate the blood, sweat and time that the band put into this album. I know every single of their songs by heart, including their first. All of the boys had so much dedication to their music. I know, my brother used to practice at three in the morning. So continue supporting the Jason, Beau, Lucas and William, seperated or not, becuase theyre not just amazing musicians, but theyre also amazing people.

Brazilian Buyer

This is one of the most fascinating pop album in recent years. A great debut. Deserves more attention. Blue Merle has character, beautiful lyrics and powerful songs.

Nothing out there like it - great music!

This album is great! It's truly a pleasure to listen to the talent of these musicians shine through. Tracks like Burning in the Sun and Boxcar Racer will pull you in, and you'll stay for others like Seeing Through You and Places. If you want something new, something that blends rock, country, bluegrass, and amazing instrumental skills, look no further.

Biography

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

The wistful, poignant sound of Nashville's Blue Merle was born when singer/songwriter/guitarist Luke Reynolds met standup bassist Jason Oettel. The two had been together for only four months when they were offered their first production/publishing deal from the president of Sony Publishing, who was eavesdropping on a recording session. Reynolds and Oettel were blown away by the offer but wanted to work on forming a band, something that would put them up front in the music business rather than in...
Full Bio
Burning In the Sun, Blue Merle
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