Saturday, September 02, 2006

Music Review -- Blue on Blue by Leigh Nash

Blue on Blue is the solo debut of former Sixpence None the Richer member Leigh Nash. 6p had a long and tumultuous career putting out only four full length albums between ’94 and ’02. The band’s core members were Nash and multi-instrumentalist and lyricist Matt Slocum. Slocum’s only appearance here is that he co-wrote the album’s first single My Idea of Heaven.

Nash wrote or co-wrote every song of the album. Despite her varied influences and her past with 6p, this is purely a pop album. The Kiss Me, 6p’s biggest hit, of this album is My Idea of Heaven. Though a bit bland and sappy, it is not a bad tune. Most of the songs have a dreamy quality and are heavy on the keyboards.

While a few of the songs are written a bit too preciously, like Nervous in the Light of Dawn, the writing is solid and well-structured. Nash is never preachy, but does focus on some spiritual and philosophical issues. Mixed in, as well, are some pure love songs. On songs like More of It and Cloud Nine it is nice to hear Nash write as if she is speaking to someone specific. Too many songs these days lack any punch because they are written as if they are addressed to “whom it may concern”.

The album really gets moving a few songs in. The best songs on Blue on Blue are the faster paced tunes which force Nash to stretch her voice a little bit. Her soft voice belies her range and strength, which is shown on Never Finish where she sings, “You want me all to yourself/ Well you’ve got me now/ I’ve got to think to myself/ Where do you end?/ And where do you begin?” Angel Tonight and Blue are other tunes that step out a little from the ranks of the mid-tempo songs and are quite good.

Repeated listening reveals more depth than there is on the surface. Nonetheless, the problem with this album is that there is no edge at all. And again I stress “at all”. The CD is well produced and the musicians are all good, but the shiny, shimmering songs are all a listener gets. I know this is unfair, but some of Slocum’s guitar work and edgier lyrics would add a lot to a work like this. Nash has proven with Blue on Blue that her voice is still great and her songwriting is solid. Her debut will not help anyone deal with missing Sixpence None the Richer, but it is good on its own standing.

2.60 out of 4.00 on the Vin Swanson Scale.

Listening to this makes you feel like everyday could be a breezy, sunny Tuesday afternoon.

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