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Approaching Normal Explicit Lyrics

4.8 out of 5 stars 289 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Explicit Lyrics, March 24, 2009
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Product Description

Explicit Version. 2009 album from the Texas Post-Grunge quintet. Approaching Normal is Blue October's follow-up to their platinum-plus selling 2006 album Foiled and the 100k selling Foiled Deluxe. Famed Twilight author Stephanie Meyer says this about the band: ''...there is empathetic power in Blue October's music - the listener doesn't just sympathize with the feeling of the song, the listener has no choice but to feel the song as if the emotion was his/her own.'' 13 tracks including the first single 'Dirt Room'.

About the Artist

On the new Blue October album, Approaching Normal, Justin Furstenfeld, moves his band forward into confident new territory as a songwriter and as a storyteller. Steve Lillywhite, the producer synonymous with U2 and five-time Grammy Award winner guided the way and the result is an album that breaks the mold of whatever anyone may think Blue October is.

Lillywhite's first attraction to Blue October was the voice. "For me, it's always the voice that gets me first because my opinion on a voice never changes. There are singers and there are expressionists and Justin is both," says Steve, who quickly adds that just as important is the artistry, "Their music really touches people in a way that the music of great artists do. There is bond of passion and trust between artist and audience."

"Working with Steve has always been my dream and I learned so much from him...like less is more." Justin comments, "I was like a painter that did not know how to paint. It's quite a new step trusting someone with your vision...but hey it's Steve Lillywhite and I trusted him completely."

Approaching Normal is the follow-up to the band's platinum selling breakthrough album, Foiled. Released in 2006, the first single, "Hate Me," a song that offers a stepping stone from regret to hope, became the surprise modern rock anthem of the year spending 16 weeks in the Top 10 with five weeks at #2. The crossover success of the follow-up single, "Into the Ocean," propelled the album sales well into the million plus territory in North America alone.

Having a platinum selling album creates pressure and as a songwriter, Justin felt it. Lillywhite helped him along the way by encouraging him to work more deliberately at his craft "He pushed me as a writer. I would have a song written and Steve would say, `that part is boring.' No one has ever said that to me before. Steve would tell me to sit down and work on it and I never did that before. I re-wrote melodies and lyrics that didn't make sense and now they are gorgeous. He pushed me to be better and that inspired me and I accomplished more than I would of on my own."

Approaching Normal is a journey; a song cycle that begins with "Weight of the World," a song that made its first appearance as a spoken word poem on the band's brilliant live CD and DVD "Argue with a Tree." The new version, fully orchestrated by the band, finds Justin, as himself, at the peak of his youthful destruction. I blackout in the room again, a busted lip and broken skin. I wake up in the bathroom and dare not bother asking why the mirror's cracked and all I see are shards of glass inside of me. There's voices there to dare me, my father's here to scare me."

"Foiled was about all of this crap that I had to get off of my chest," states Justin, "I'm sick of being the victim. I want to be a strong, confident individual," and that is exactly what Track 2, "Say It," a song about empowerment and gaining confidence is all about. The same confidence can be heard again and again throughout the album on songs like, "Blue Skies" and "Should Be Loved." but not before the album turns angry and vindictive with the powerful first single, "Dirt Room." The song is an all out aggro-rocker with a lyrical metaphor about not allowing yourself to be taken advantage of, protecting your family and standing up for what is yours.

"Dirt Room" also marks the point on the album, when the listener is slapped into noticing just how fierce Blue October is as a band. On this song, Jeremy Furstenfeld (drums) and Matt Noveskey (bass) lay down a metallic rhythm that doesn't quit while C.B. Hudson III adds the guitars that drive the band into alt-metal-garage-punk terrain while Justin scream-sings the vivid and graphic storyline. The surprise comes when multi-instrumentalist, Ryan Delahoussaye, kicks it all up with a violin solo that turns the hot up a few degrees more. Throughout the album the musicianship of the band never falters and always amazes...whatever pallet is required...delicate, ethereal, fiery, rollicking, dramatic, you name it and the band always delivers.

The centerpiece of the album is "Kangaroo Cry/Picking Up the Pieces." The two songs cross-faded to tell the story of a soldier's heart-wrenching goodbye to his girl on the eve of being deployed into active duty and then the how-and-why of the picking up the pieces of their broken life upon his return.

"My Never," is, perhaps, the most anticipated song on the album since it's introduction last summer during the Stephenie Meyer/Justin Furstenfeld Breaking Dawn Concert tour. Meyer, a Blue October fan and bestselling author of the Twilight saga, surprised Justin when she invited him to join her theater tour and help her introduce the release of the fourth and final book of her uber-popular series. "

On the Breaking Dawn stage, Justin sang acoustic versions of his songs and Stephenie would talk about how they roused her writing, "As a writer, I'm always looking for music that can bring out the emotions that I need for the story. While there are many musicians that can recall to me times in the past where I might have felt sadness or rage or infatuation, it's very rare to find a song that can actually put me in that emotion, rather than just reminding me of it. There is empathetic power in Blue October's music--the listener doesn't just sympathize with the feeling of the song, the listener has no choice but to feel the song as if the emotion was his/her own."

Says Justin of the experience, "I was taken back by her invitation and I am equally motivated by her writing and her fans. It showed me that you don't have to be broken to be a Blue October fan." Meyer responds, "Working with Justin was an unparalleled experience for me. I was intimidated by the idea of working with someone whose work I held in such awe, but as soon as I met Justin everything became very easy--different as we are, we clicked on a kindred spirit level right away. Being able to combine the presentation of my books with the music that inspired it felt very right. Sitting on stage next to Justin while he performed was an experience that will always be a highlight of my life. And better than all of it was coming away from it with a friend. You rock, Justin!"

Along the Normal journey there are songs that break the Blue October mold. The philosophically happy, "Jumprope" and the lullaby, "Blue Does," were both written for a new life, Justin's baby girl. "I don't want to write sad songs anymore. I am a little older and I have a child and that allows me to see the beauty and the mystery of life. I want to show my fans that it is OK to be happy."

And then, just as everything seems settled into a comfortable suburban life, the Approaching Normal song cycle wraps with a shocker, "The End." This tale of an unstable man self-tortured by jealously is as frightening as any song ever recorded. You won't find it on the "clean" edit version of the album...it's that scary. "There are crazy stories on this album and this one is purely theatrical...I've just always been fascinated with what people think they can get away with...what in their brain is making them say `that's OK.'"

"What the fuck is normal?" concludes Justin, "The album is a play on how everyone's sense of normal is at risk over something, happiness or sadness or, god forbid, madness. Blue October is a mood. Whether you listen to the words or not, the music sets a tone and as for the lyrics, well, you either love it or hate it."

"I think that we have made an album that is an artistic statement," adds Lillywhite, "it's a journey, but it also checks the boxes of commercial potential. I really love the record."

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 24, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Explicit Lyrics
  • Label: Universal Motown
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (289 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,048 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Keiv D. Spare on March 24, 2009
Format: Audio CD
Approaching Normal. The title of Blue October's new album is both fitting and ironic. Musically it leaves behind the overdubbed vocals, echoes, unnecessary sounds and electronic trickery that drew the ire of some longtime fans after the release of the band's previous album, Foiled. On this effort, the band instead embraces a variety of instruments to produce the necessary sounds that drive their music, and although synthesizers are used on many of the songs, they are employed to complimentary effect. Gone too are the days of Ryan Delahoussaye's violin being the lead instrument, a trend which began with Foiled. Although Delahoussaye is omnipresent on the songs, his strings take on new roles and are used to produce a variety of sounds which provide the supporting textures of the songs. Ryan's mandolin, piano, and voice are also more prominent on this recording. In other respects the music is far from normalized. Blue October is still one of the most eclectic bands producing music today, and the new album is no exception, featuring hard rockers, ballads, pop songs, dance numbers, hip hop, even a lullaby. Lyrically, it can be argued that Justin Furstenfeld's words are the furthest from normal that they have ever been, with two of the songs graphically describing violent fantasies. As Furstenfeld (and thousands of Blue October fans) have discovered, expelling these thoughts from your mind and into creative art, is the best hope for sanity and normalcy.

The album begins with "Weight of the World", a song which showcases the dichotomies between loud and quiet, harsh and soft, frantic and calm (a persistent theme throughout the record). The verses feature Justin peacefully singing with minimal instrumental accompaniment, whilst the choruses are an onslaught of heavy bass and synthesizer.
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This album is well worth the purchase. There really seems to be something for every kind of Blue October fan out there. Those who like the harder sound of " James " and " Drilled a Wire Through my Cheek," will love the rage felt in " Dirt Room" and " The End." Fans who lean more towards songs like " Calling You " might like " My Never " or " Should Be Loved." Some of my favorite songs form Justin and company are the ones that deal with Justin's personal life and struggles. " HRSA" and " Independently Happy" are two of my favorite songs to turn up while I scream at the top of my lungs. Some of the more personal songs on this record seem to be " Weight of the World, " " Say It," and " Blue Does."

Most fans have heard "Weight of the World" from the live release, " Argue with a Tree." The studio version sounds amazing and the background noise of ambulances and hotel staff knocking at the door really set the scene for the song nicely. Some of the other tracks were also heard live during Justin's " 5591" tour, and "My Never" was played during the Breaking Dawn Tour.

All Blue October fans must add this album to their collection. If you haven't heard of Blue October then I also suggest you check out the other releases :

The Answers, Consent to Treatment, History For Sale, Argue with a Tree, and Foiled.
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I am an adamantly devoted Blue October fan. I think History for Sale is the best album I have ever heard and Foiled is a close second. I love this band because they are so unique and diverse, unlike anything else out there.
That being said, this album is a disappointment. There is no distinguishing feature that makes Approaching Normal a Blue October album, apart from Justin's expressive voice. The startling mix of instruments they are known for is barely noticeable, and the lyrics fail to compare to the gut-wrenching honesty usually associated with the band. This is not a bad album, it is just completely average; something I didn't expect from such a talented, remarkable group.
If you are not familiar with Blue October, do yourself a favor and buy History for Sale and Foiled, two of the most exceptional and distinctive albums out there today.
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Wow, this is a difficult CD/album to digest. A more fitting title would be: Approaching Insanity part 1 with 'Any Man in American' being part 2. Coming off of the somewhat balanced and thoroughly satisfying Foiled, Justin's personal angst is full on here in shocking display. 'The End' is perhaps the most disturbing 5 minutes of music/dialogue I have ever listened to. It's like a soundtrack to Natural Born Killers. The release of this song had to prompt a criminal investigation. The obvious lyrical plot to murder his ex-wife is so haunting, I won't even listen to this with my family around. It is that disturbing. Justin will not want this as his legacy. My heart goes out to this man and the mental anguish that he must have endured.

There are some very good, listenable tracks here: Say It, Been Down, Should Be Loved, Picking Up The Pieces. However, they are overshadowed by the dark and disturbing tracks laced with F-bombs: 'Weight of the World', 'Dirt Room' and 'The End'. I will be surprised if this album ages well. There is plenty here that is good here, though.
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Love blue october. their music is great. filled with so much emotion, feeling and raw talent. beautiful. i didnt even mind that the cd case was broken and was disguised by the damn sticker they use to lock you out of the cd. it did come super fast. and shipping was incredibly fast
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