Red Wanting Blue
From the Vanishing Point
By Al Kaufman
Red Wanting Blue plays slick, mainstream pop-rock songs. That could be the whole review right there, but it would leave the layout for this review wanting. It’s like Train or Hootie and the Blowfish, or, to a lesser extent, Counting Crows. It’s that kind of stuff that you know would sound good live, but loses something within the sterile confines of a recording studio.
Scott Terry writes of hoping, surviving, loving, moving on and loving life; all kinds of nice big anthem-like stuff. And he occasionally sings it in a slightly poppier version of Eddie Vedder’s mumbling grumble, most notably on “Stay On the Bright Side” and “Ballad of Nobodies.” He and the band can even get a little harder edged on songs such as “Dinosaur,” which recalls Stone Temple Pilots in their heyday. But too often they fall into that slick pop that clogs up the airwaves. The lyrics “I’ll be there for you” need never be heard in another pop song, but Red Wanting Blue makes them the chorus in the generic “Audition,” which, naturally, is the album’s first single.
But there is some promise here. “Playlist” has a nice ’70s funk-pop groove, and they throw a change-up with the folksy “Walking Shoes,” in which Terry gets to show off his ukulele skills. And it’s really hard not to like a country-tinged love song titled “Cocaine.” “You’re like cocaine. I take you in ’til I go numb,” sings Terry. What girl would not swoon at getting compared to the white powder?
After a few self-releases, From the Vanishing Point is the band’s first album for a label, so maybe they can be forgiven for turning a few too many knobs in the studio. These are talented musicians who love their work and can play a good pop-rock song. Maybe on their next release they’ll be able to do more.
Red Wanting Blue plays Smith’s Olde Bar on February 27.