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Blue Merle - Burning in the Sun 
By Gary Schwind

My first impression of Blue Merle is that their vocalist, Luke Reynolds sounds almost exactly like Chris Martin of Coldplay.  Not bad, right?  The unfortunate thing is, as they say, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”

There is some good stuff on this album.  All five musicians are very talented, particularly Reynolds who sings, plays guitar, organ and piano.  Reynolds is a talented songwriter who writes songs as poetic as Tim Booth of James and Fran Healy of Travis. Also, I like the non-standard instrumentation.  In addition to guitar, bass and drums, Blue Merle incorporates mandolin and fiddle into their lineup.  The fiddle and mandolin give the band a nice rootsy sound.  “Lucky to Know You” and “Seeing Through You” are beautiful.  In fact, every song on this album is melodic and nicely arranged.

But I just can’t get past the similarity to Coldplay.  It’s one thing to have traces of a band in your sound.  It’s quite another to sound just like another band, and that is where Blue Merle falters.  If you played Coldplay and Blue Merle back-to-back, I’m not sure I’d be able to tell the difference.

CD Info 

Blue Merle - Burning in the Sun
Label: Island Records
  1. Burning In The Sun 
  2. If I Could 
  3. Lucky To Know You 
  4. Stay 
  5. Every Ship Must Sail Away 
  6. Boxcar Racer 
  7. Made To Run 
  8. Seeing Through You 
  10. Places 
  11. Part Of Your History 
  12. Either Way It Goes 
  13. Bittersweet Memory 
Listen to samples and Purchase this CD online

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