The Complex Enhanced
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Blue Man Group will release their first, full-fledged rock 'n' roll album The Complex featuring guest collaborations with Dan the Automator, Tracy Bonham, Esthero, Josh Haden, Dave Matthews, and others. Within The Complex, the Blue Man Group was able to record as well as build the wide array of unusual invented instruments used on the album. Aided by the help of some of today's most intriguing vocalists, Blue Man Group has successfully moved beyond the instrumental category and has catapulted full force into the rock world. The track "The Current" is heavily featured in the highly anticipated film, Terminator 3, scheduled to be released nationwide July 3. You'll hear their signature sounds, such as the tube instruments, the giant walls of percussion, and all of the Group's other invented instruments; you'll also hear some more familiar trappings of today's music; thrashing guitars, verse/chorus/bridge song structure, scratching, and in addition, a variety of guest vocalists.
Take equal measures of Gallagher and Kraftwerk, mix in a 15-year supply of blue body paint and shake with a double-shot of modern marketing savvy and you might have something akin to Blue Man Group. This ambitious second album by New York performance artists cum entrepreneurs Matt Goldman, Phil Stanton, and Chris Wink expands their central artistic contradiction--mainstreaming the alternative--with a propulsive cocktail of rhythm, irony, self-invented instrumentation, and bona fide song structures that feature turns from guest stars Dave Matthews (the music hall dirge "Sing Along") and Tracy Bonham ("Up to the Roof," and with Rob Swift, "Shadows Pt.2"). The conceit is vaguely reminiscent of the Tubes' tongue-in-cheek ode to '80s corporate rock, "The Completion Backwards Principle," right down to being so convincing the irony often melts away. Fans of their live performances will appreciate its wall-to-wall rhythmic thrust and quirky textures, while aficionados and newcomers alike should welcome its surprising, seductive melodies and mature songwriting. --Jerry McCulley
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Top Customer Reviews
There really isn't a bad track on the CD, and the CD proves that BMG can coexist in the genres of rock and dance music in addition to their own individual, indefinable niche that only they can occupy. The sounds you hear here are like no other on any other CD, and that's a wonderful and refreshing thing.
"Your attention please. Please yell if you are paying attention."
This is a rock album, make no mistake. BMG's debut album, "Audio," is more true to their live show that's played in venues like The Luxor in Las Vegas, and is primarily a showcase for the BMG's trademark percussion.
"The Complex" couples BMG's percussion and homemade instruments to a traditional song format, with soaring guitars, a pounding rhythm section, and a big percussive sound.
Along for the ride are guest vocalists such as Tracy Bonham, Dave Matthews, Annette Stream of Venus Hum, and Bush frontman Gavin Rossdale.
Lyrically, the songs of "The Complex" explore themes of alienation and the dis-connect from society that is so common to the cubicle-dweller society that is the norm of corporate America. There are a few cover tunes here, with the best being a rocking cover of Donna Summer's "I Feel Love," sung by Venus Hum's Annette Stream. It's a brilliant rendition, full of soaring guitars, amazing percussion (the synthesizer sound at the beginning of the song is actually PVC tubing, an instrument the Blue Man Group call 'The Tubulum') and energy.
The album concludes with the haunting instrumental "Exhibit 13." If you've seen "The Complex" tour DVD or have gone to BMG's web site, you'll know that "Exhibit 13" is about the Sept. 11 attacks on New York City and some random pieces of paper that blew into a nearby neighborhood.
About "The Complex" tour DVD...buy it! It's amazing to watch everyone involved in creating the show, and to see and hear the Blue Man Group's various homemade instruments.
Herein is a small review of all the songs and my top 3 songs of the album
A very nice start
Time to Start:(9/10)
An exceptionally humerous number,
One of the covers of the album, the Dave Matthews Band really makes this track shine. 3rd Place
Up to the Roof:(10/10)
The female counterpart to Sing Along. Tracy easily make this the second best song IMO
A remake of a BMG song, the addition of vocals kinda makes the song itself easier to swallow than its original format, otherwise....
Pure BMG goodness for those who like their original style
Maybe its just me, but I didn't quite like this song as much as the rest of the album, worth a hear if you like Esthero
Another remake of a previous BMG song, nothing special
One word: Woah.....1st place
I Feel Love:(8/10)
An exceptional rock rendition of the disco classic
What is Rock:(8/10)
This is where it gets tiring if you try to give it a once over, otherwise its up to stuff with the rest of the album
The album thankfully gives you a break with this song, its about a person who's made it to the top yet wants more out of life than just success, great song
If the listener wasn't told what this song is about, they would just assume its a nice BMG instrumental with many foreign languages. If they were told that its about the many pieces of paper that fell from the two towers. THEN it gains its exceptional strength and creepyness, and could actually move some people to tears.
The Hidden Mandelbrot:(9/10)
An awesome quasi-western-style varient to the mandelbrot family. A nice way to end the album