Today I want to bring an album to the table that I think has not gotten quite the credit it deserves even though it's certainly not gone unnoticed by the press. The album came out a couple years back and it's entitled 'Foiled'. The band who brought it to us hails from Houston, Texas. They're called Blue October, not to be confused with a British band who go by the same name.

Blue October features the brothers Furstenfeld, Jeremy on drums and Justin on rhythm guitar and lead vocals. CB Hudson handles lead guitar, Matt Novesky wrangles the bass and Ryan Delahoussaye provides violin and piano, though probably not both at the same time. All the band members lend their voices to tracks, a factor that gives their sound quite a bit of depth. Justin's unusual vocal style gives a unique quality that seems to polarize those who I've played this album for: either they love his singing or they hate it, very few people fell in between. His personal style choices evoke similar reactions, as well.

We'll start with the big guns. If you've heard any of the tracks off this album, chances are good that you've heard 'Into the Ocean' or 'Hate Me' which received quite a bit of radio play, especially the latter song whose video also did quite well. While both songs deal with extremely intense personal struggles with topics like self loathing, suicidal fantasies and drug abuse, the tunes themselves have an upbeat quality. This produces an odd effect for me, but I appreciate the dichotomy. If you watch the video for 'Hate Me' you might find that helps the song make more sense, the singer's referencing (it's widely speculated) his mother and that is her voice on the answering machine at the beginning of the video from an actual message she left him during a difficult time in his life. It's probably one of the most agonizingly emotional music videos I've ever seen.

The rest of the CD contains a mixture of songs that tend to deal primarily with the subjects of love and/or friendship. I guess you could say this album's all about relationships. 'You Make Me Smile', 'She's My Ride Home' and '18th Floor Balcony' are all towards the romance angle, each offering a different spin. 'What If We Could' and 'Let It Go' have a more melancholy mood, focusing on broken romance. 'Overweight' and 'Everlasting Friend' are about friendships and two of my personal favorites on this album. 'Sound of Pulling Heaven Down' probably has the heaviest sound to it out of the whole CD, but 'Drilled a Wire Through My Cheek' contains darker masochistic lyrics that prove why it made a good choice for the soundtrack to Saw III, the movie.

I enjoy these guy's lyrics quite a lot and I think they blow away a lot of the indie/emo/alternative bands out there because they've got a unique combination of stylistic elements, though I do admit their subject matter could be more broad than what they showcase on this particular album. Overall, with 13 tracks (including a hidden track and a couple extra songs on more recent issues of the CD) I think it's a hell of a deal. It's easy to see why this sucker went platinum, if you ask me.

In case you were wondering why the album's titled Foiled, that's a name that the Furstenfeld brothers' dad came up with because it had trouble getting released due to record label hijinks.

One last thought. On the topic of bands with names incorporating colors, I believe every color's been covered now: Blue October, Black Sabbath, White Stripes, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Green Day, Silverchair, Agent Orange, Pink, Yellowcard, Deep Purple, Goldfinger, James Brown... did I miss any?

Lyrics submitted by mike

Blue October - Foiled song meanings
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  • 0
    General CommentI completely agree, this album is surely underrated and though I have quite an eclectic taste for music there's no doubt this album is in my top 5 of all time and quite possibly number 1.
    A few things to add to your review...first off I think lyrically this album does blow most others out of the water. The degree of honesty is one thing, that it sounds more like a personal journal than a musical endavour, but also the vocabulary like "Floatsam" and "Jetsam".
    I also really enjoyed that although the songs are well crafted lyrically, they're just as inspired musically. I find that the instruments really seem to come through with emotion as well. If you remove the lyrics you can still get a great feel for all the emotions and tone of the song. And to that end I found all the songs flowed well together. The album I thought might have even been a 'concept' of sorts following from the time the artist meets a girl, becomes friends, falls in love, discovers that he may never get her, and settling for being 'just a friend' but finding more to that in the end. It really does play out like a story. Fantastic album and wonderfully written review
    cp___32on September 30, 2008   Link
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    General CommentStrongly agreed, and thanks for writing this, Mike. While the singles deservedly brought the most new fans to this album, funny story: I discovered Blue October by searching on Imogen Heap, another favorite artist who chimes in on "Congratulations." Had to immediately buy all their albums and fall in love with them, just as I did with hers.

    The best news is that "Foiled" is Blue October's strongest album yet, just as "Speak For Yourself" is Imogen's. Truly, we are blessed.
    raffishtenant2on October 02, 2008   Link
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    General Commentazure ray
    lostmatildaon October 07, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMaroon 5
    Disintegrationson October 12, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI definately agree...I've never heard lyrics be so thoughtful deep and universal while at the same time being personal and blunt. This album really makes me think. I give the band kudos because I've seen them live and own the CD, and they really play because this is their music. This is how they feel. This is how they play, and it's not just for fame in money. Well Done boys!
    white_noteson October 13, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIndigo Girls leaves just violet out of the colors of the rainbow, but maybe we'll let Deep Purple substitute.
    spartacus51on October 20, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentnot exactly a blue october but this album does have pretty good lyrics
    votepedroon October 22, 2008   Link
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    General CommentI totally agree with this article and i also agree with white_notes. They hit it right on the button. Blue October is a very different band in the sense that all their songs are personal and that they write all their own stuff. Every time they go out to play a show, they play it with a lot of emotion and that is what I truely love about this band. I can relate with almost every song by them and they are the one band i cannot go a day without listening to. Thank God that He helped me discover Blue October because they have helped me get through some tough times, I don't know where I would be without them.
    clem8417on August 02, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGreat article, I love Blue October and I totally agree with your thoughts on them.
    RebelPartyon January 11, 2013   Link

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