By Big Blu
BigBlu have a talent for melody. Their music is simple, evocative, tuneful and very radio-friendly. The mood is wistful and yearning. Track 1 is "Mainland". Its haunting two bar chord pattern runs through the song like a North Sea tide, with a big open sky and plenty of space for emotional soothing. The bass is clear and self assured like a line from Air. The chorus adds a second melody, and a counter-melody on a lo-fi synth noise real value for money. The voice is restrained and anonymous, perfectly suited to the mood. With some gentle production tightening and a rewrite of the bland chorus lyric this could be a theme tune to a North East TV drama about growing up in the 90s and become a major radio hit.
The demo's lyrics are a problem for me. Track 2 "Something" has stuff like "I saw you were there / I heard that you don't care" which is a bit lazy. Track 3 "Under the Male" has some condescending lines about oppressed women. "They ridiculed all that you are / False promises under the stars / And from the moments in the back of the car / You're under the male" and "Women's Liberation is fine / Cultivated cultured in time". Oddly this is followed by of the most promising lines I've heard for a while: "There's a proposition covered in slime / Under the male". "Under the Male" reveals BIgBlu's very clear ringing vocal talent that was atmospherically veiled in Track 1. With songs on this personal scale voice quality and diction are very important. It has to be said that some of the better lines get a bit lost through lack of stress at the ends of key words. A common fault - but when the title word "Mainland" (which has a real poetic strength to it) could easily be heard as "Mainline" (which doesn't) it does matter.
On balance. "Mainland" is outstanding, "Under the Male" is dire and "Something" shows potential. The demo suggests that BigBlu are real pop contenders.