12 Songs, 47 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

“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.

EDITORS’ NOTES

“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.

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