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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    General Comment
    Great article, I love Blue October and I totally agree with your thoughts on them.
    RebelPartyon January 12, 2013   Link

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