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Blue Record

4.5 out of 5 stars 57 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Blue Record announces the re-awakening of Savannah s rock giants BARONESS. The follow-up to 2007 s Red Album, Blue Record is an instantly-classic album, with all the peaks and valleys, textures, and nuances that timeless records yield over repeated listens. Deep and dark; Blue Record overflows with gossamer melodies and striking, earnest riffs that have become the band s signature. Swollen and Halo , Jake Leg , War, Wisdom, and Rhyme , The Sweetest Curse , are just a few of the tracks that are both instant and unforgettable, making Blue Record the most poignant moment in the BARONESS canon to date.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 13, 2009)
  • Original Release Date: October 13, 2009
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Relapse
  • ASIN: B002LVS4WM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,943 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
What Baroness have done here is to attempt, and successfully execute, something that heretofore had only been attempted by Mastodon on their last couple records. Make an insanely heavy record that packs hooks - whether catchy riffs, vocal melodies, or leads - into every conceivable minute of the album, without sacrificing anything, most especially continuity or atmosphere. It is, undoubtedly, one hell of an undertaking, and most groups are not even capable of trying. Many that might be do not try for fear of failure. It's a lot easier to just pump out disgusting riffs if that's what you do well. Baroness has had that down pat from their first EP. But they began combining that unique riff juggernaut with prog rock, southern rock and true pop sensibilities on Red Album, and have damn near perfected the formula they started to delve into there. Blue Record is the sound of a band firing on all cylinders, on every track.

Now what Baroness do is entirely different from what their hard rock brethren in Torche and Queens of the Stone Age (generally) do. While the latter are making groovy, heavy ass pop songs, Baroness are taking heavy metal song formulas and injecting them with so much pop flavor and so many memorable, hummable hooks that it seems at any moment they might burst. But they don't. They never meander aimlessly. The songs are taught, sometimes perhaps even too concise and direct. That's how you make six minute tracks seem to fly by in two.

Sure, Baroness have a bit of work to do in the vocal department, if only because they are seemingly demanding the maximum of themselves from a songwriting perspective in every other arena. The instrumention is beyond disgusting, but I think Baroness - scary as this is - can improve.
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Format: Audio CD
I've been looking for something more aggressive than Torche, not as predictable as High on Fire, a groove oriented metal album, something with swing. The Blue Record is the water mark arrangement I've been looking for. The Red Album was solid (e.g. The Birthing!!!), but the whole Blue Record experience fits together like a seamless old school 70's masterpiece. The songs flow with beautiful interludes, then they build into a number of crescendos that force you to listen to the album as a whole. The last three tunes are a perfect fit, with Blackpowder Orchard/The Gnashing/Bullhead's Lament. The guttural vocals are tempered with harmonies that resemble the dueling vocals found in some Fugazi tunes. You'll hear more Zeppelin influence on this album than you'll find on TCV. Most of the faster songs have a strong sing/scream along factor working for them. The music is textured and the songs have hooks, so you can count on listening to the album repeatedly and not getting bored. Of all the tunes, I think the only one that is a misfit is "O'Er Hell and Hide". The beats and spoken word don't gel with the rest of the songs, but it's a respectable tune none the less. Then there's the artwork! Baizley is a true talent and I hope that he experiences much success as he diversifies and blossoms in the visual art world. This is my pick for best of metal album of 2009.
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This is an interesting album. I'm not exactly sure how I feel about it. It's definitely a well thought out and executed album that takes prog rock/metal in new and exciting directions. However, it also requires the listener to pay a lot of attention to it. You dont just kick back and enjoy some tunes. You really have to invest yourself into this album for it to make sense, IMO. That isnt a bad thing at all. Just noteworthy because the end result is one that is arguably brilliant, but also not necessarily approachable. It's a perfect album for fellow musicians to listen to, and quite interesting, but if you arent a musician, I would recommend watching a few videos or listening to a song or two before purchasing.

Please note however that I also went into this blind. Although I had heard this band in the past, I had never really listened to a full album prior to this one, so you know, YMMV.
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Although I usually am on top of the better metal bands out there, because my budget is limited and attention spastic, sometimes a great band slips under my radar. Mastodon was one, which I quickly remedied. So maybe it's fitting or just coincidence I am a latecomer to Baroness. After getting my first Baroness album, the superb "Yellow and Green", still my favorite, and quickly adding "Purple", which is also outstanding, it's no surprise I'd get "Red" and now "Blue".
"Blue" is the album that bridges the heaviness of "Red", their toughest album, and the debut, with what would later evolve on "Yellow and Green" and "Purple". John Baizley is a great songwriter and vocalist, showing a penchant for a good melody and hook amidst the heavy rock and roll, and at a few times you can hear the influences of past great rock bands that could rock and still write good songs. So Baroness would definitely appeal to Mastodon fans, "The Hunter" in particular, Clutch or The Sword.
This album was their second, and shows us they were only going to get even better. We get the hint of some of the more mellow tunes that would make "Yellow and Green" the masterpiece it is, and without "Blue", the newest album "Purple" would not have been possible. As usual, I don't break the tracks down, preferring to listen to albums as a whole. For those who think current heavy bands can't play like the old classic bands of the '70's, where far too many rock fans' interest ends in a screeching halt, Baroness proves them wrong. Dead wrong. Get all four CD's. They're that good.
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