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Foiled by Blue October Review
In the past few years, after having begun to share my favorite albums with friends and family, and after having received some of their favorite albums to listen to in return, I was introduced to the band Blue October. The friends of mine who most enjoyed Blue October’s music were a bit…darker in nature, and so I was a bit skeptical when it came to giving Blue October’s album, “Foiled,” a good, first listen. However, after hearing their CD only once, I knew that I had fallen head over heels in love with the band and the music that they create.
Blue October’s album, “Foiled,” is probably the CD that I own that I have listened to the most. Not only is the music on the album hauntingly familiar, catchy, sing-songy and emotionally moving, but it is memorable as well. There is not a single track on this fifty-three minute and fifty-six second (53:56) long album that has not, at one point or another, been stuck in my head. “Foiled” can best be described as sounding like a mellow, pop-rock album. Some of the songs on the album are harder ones, especially ones such as “What If We Could,” and “Drilled a Wire Through My Cheek,” and it is these songs which leave listeners angsty and pessimistic. Other songs on the album, such as “Hate Me” and “Congratulations” (the latter of which features Imogen Heap) leave listeners feeling somber, remorseful, and lonely, while cheerier-sounding songs such as “Into the Ocean” resonate with a fun, happy, and joyful tone as far as the music goes, though the lyrics of the song are a bit more dismal than the tempo and general feel of the music would at first lead one to believe.
As a matter of a fact, “Into the Ocean” just so happens to be my favorite song on this album, if not my favorite song of all time. Despite the upbeat nature and light feel to the pacing of the song as well as some of the rhyme schemes, the lyrics are deceptively darker and gloomy. “I wanna swim away but don’t know how/ sometimes it feels just like I’m falling in the ocean…”(Into the Ocean) and “…I calculate what I had done/ like jumping from the bow, yeah/ just to prove that I knew how, yeah/ it’s midnight’s late reminder of/ the loss of her the one I love/…into the ocean, end it all” (Into the Ocean) and the haunting, rather quite “goodbye” that one hears repeating throughout the song in the background help to make this song unforgettable and an instant favorite, especially to those who have put on a happy face while suffering personal issues in silence. This song especially leaves me feeling desperately lonely and ecstatically giddy at the same time.
Probably the most popular song on the album, the one that most people will be familiar with, is “Hate Me,” which begins with a recording of Justin, the vocalist’s mother leaving a worried message on his answering machine, but that flows smoothly into a song of heartbreaking desperation, loneliness and self-deprecation. “Hate me today/ hate me tomorrow/ hate me for all the things I didn’t do for you/…hate me so you can finally see what’s good for you” (Hate Me) and “In my sick way I want to thank you for holding my head up late at night/ while I was busy waging wars with myself/ you were trying to stop the fight/ you never doubted my opinions on things like suicidal hate/ you made me compliment myself when it was way too hard to take” (Hate Me) are lyrics that will be especially memorable to those who have heard it and who have been touched by it. For being a song about being left by a loved one, this one is unpredictably good, especially as it is done by a “boy band” instead of a solo artist. The song is touching and leaves one feeling empty and lonely, looking forward to the next opportunity to reach out to a loved one.
While there is not a single track on this album that is not a wonderful one, probably the least memorable one is “X Amount of Words.” I’m not sure if it is the beat, or the slow, rhythmic start of the song, but somehow, even though I enjoy the song, I still forget that it is on the album once in a while. “Systematic, sympathetic, quite pathetic, apologetic, paramedic, your heart is prosthetic” (X Amount of Words) are just a few of the catchy yet unmemorable lyrics that don’t make the best of sense on this album. However, other lyrics in the song such as “sick of shaking, never waking from the hell I achieve/ I never knew you till you left me with the crying disease” (X Amount of Words) makes it pretty clear to the listener what exactly the song is about. Actually, now that I think about it, the majority of the songs on this album are about love, either finding it, maintaining it, or else losing it. However, to the average listener, this fact probably won’t be too apparent without actively looking for it.
The members of Blue October, which include Justin Furstenfeld, Jeremy Furstenfeld, Ryan Delahoussaye, C.B. Hudson III, and Matt Novesky, truly are musical artists in that they do actually write both the music and the lyrics to each and every one of their songs, instead of just being the face of the music that other artists have created.
Both musically and lyrically, this is one of the greatest albums that I have yet encountered, and as a result, I have eagerly recommended this album to almost everyone that I know. This album contains songs that are soft enough for adult-pop or country music lovers to enjoy, as well as songs that are hard and passionate enough for rock or alternative music enthusiasts to enjoy as well. This album is definitely a perfect one!
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