Bear with me here…
Music can so often dictate my emotions. It can literally transport me from one mood to another in the blink of a chord change. And this brings me to something that I call ‘3 A.M. Music’. How would I describe this style of music? Well, imagine that melancholy feeling you get when you are floating halfway between consciousness and sleep very late at night/early in the morning. Then, as you lie there and prepare to drift off into la-la land, you hear a magical song on the radio that gives you chills. It is so emotionally powerful that you want to leap out of bed and express love and thankfulness… yet you are paralyzed and lost in the music so you give in to it’s charm. Does that sound familiar to you? Are you picking up what I’m laying down? Well, this phenomenon that I refer to as ‘3 A.M. Music’ sends those melancholy feelings through my body at any given moment of the day when I hear certain chord changes. ‘3 A.M. Music’ connects every emotion in my body and while the overall outcome is melancholic, it is a truly powerful experience.
So, what the hell does this have to do with BLUE MOTEL, the brand-new album from Bart & The Bedazzled (Bart Davenport, Jessica Espeleta, Wayne Faler, and Andres Renteria)? Well, it seems that main man Bart Davenport has a patent on those kinds of chord changes that I love and he allows them to flow freely on this fine platter. This is sophisticated Pop music that combines elements of Soul, Power Pop, and Indie Rock. Imagine, if you will, hearing something off of the first album by The Ocean Blue mixed with early ‘70s Todd Rundgren, early ‘80s Scottish Pop (Aztec Camera/The Bluebells) and some tasty Yacht Rock for good measure. You can even throw in some Prefab Sprout for some extra zest. Not to mention a little John Barry (the guitar lick on “Halloween By The Sea” is reminiscent of the Midnight Cowboy theme). The album is a wonderful blend of sounds, styles and influences that span 50 years of Pop Music history. And thankfully, Bart & Co. manage to make it all sound cohesive inspiring and most certainly unique.
BLUE MOTEL is an album filled with moody and melodic Pop that will appeal to anyone with an ear for a great melody and a heart for honest music-making. The Glen Campbell-like guitar riffs on “The House That Built Itself” are a treat. “Life Under Water” is haunting and lovely. “The Amateurs” is a new Yacht Rock classic that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Player album. “Grown Ups” is beefy Twee Pop with some Rundgren soulfulness. The album’s closer, “Vampire,” is stunning in it’s simplicity and emotional depth. Davenport’s vocals drip with emotion on this track – and throughout the album for that matter.
Simply put, BLUE MOTEL is one of the best albums of the year.
Keep on truckin’,
Stephen SPAZ Schnee