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According to the press release, one will find the quote of "setting a deadline to record the album in eight weeks", is very obvious. Very little time seems to have been spent on the production of this album - a pity really, as it does contain some of Hussey's better songs. Only one track from "Blue" has decent production work, that track being the emotive "That Tears Shall Drown The Wind". Like The Mission's earlier "Masque" album, it might have been (possibly) a more wiser move if "Blue" was released as the first much threatened solo album from Mr Hussey (how many albums has Hussey written that ended up as Mission albums now, I wonder?) The album has a (sort of) retro "Sisters" feel to it in places; a lot of aggressive, heavily over-driven bass lines akin to Craig Adams (who was not actually a Mission member at this point in The Mission's timeline) from the Sisters early days, such as (the magnificient) "Dying Room" which must rank as one of Hussey's darkest compositions to date. Another retro step on this album was the inclusion of the reworked version of "Forever More", originally from the "Children", which was retitled for "Blue" as "Evermore & Again" (which was definately reguguratated - trouble is, I can't tell which end it came out of.) The opening track, an alternative version of the European single, "Coming Home", has an even more retro feel to it. Those die-hard fans of The Mish (like myself) who were originally Dead Or Alive fans (from our introduction to the axe-weilding Mr Hussey in the VERY early eighties), you may notice that the feel of this track (drum lines, tempo et al) is very akin to a grunge version of "You Make Me Wanna", from DOA's "Sophisticated Boom Boom" album. However, the album version of "Coming Home", like some of the other tracks on "Blue",
sounds far too rushed, what with the lack of depth of bass and the drums and the mish-mash of guitar screaching and wah-wah's just hasn't worked this time round. If "Blue" had had a simular sound quality to "Neverland", for example, this album would have been an absolute belter. Some excellent songs on the album, even though it's rough sounding. "Bang Bang", "That Tears Shall Drown The Wind", "Cannibal", "Alpha Man" and "Dying Room" are good but it were let down in places by the production quality (and the incomplete sleeve). Judging by the fact that Hussey now seems to have a hand in every part of The Mission's output (skills he no doubt picked up from the unparalleled genius of Pete Burns), he has let himself down here. We can only hope that some of these songs get the "Resurrection" completely re-recorded from scratch) treatment in the near future, as some of the stuff has not been fully justified on this album.
NOTE: I just want to make it clear that I really, really, really LIKE this record a lot. - Jay May 29, 2001 'Blue' sees Wayne Hussey(or whoever was impersonating him here) at the end of his rope. Let me make clear, before I get into this indepth, that I am a huge Mish fan. Being that I love this group so much, I must also reluctantly become one of their biggest critics...So, without further ado, into the void, lads... This is a mind-boggling record. Strangely atypical & disappointing product from a talented guy like mister Hussey. 'Blue', produced by frontman Wayne, featured a decent line-up of the band: All About Eve's Andy Cousin, veteran Mick Brown of Red Lorry Yellow Lorry & Mish, & a few other nice guys on guitar & keyboards. It was released in 1996( not coincidently, the year the group broke up before reforming in late 99), on Equator records- the same fellas who released 'Neverland'. Technicalities aside, lets get into the substance of this enigma that is the 'Blue' album. It starts off with a rip-snorting, punky type track called 'Coming Home', almost grungey in its approach, this is a pedestrian plodder that is hatching some kind of urgency that never comes to fruition. Not so much a strange start as an extremely puzzling one. Head-scratching will come easy with this LP. Next comes a Beatles-ish number, 'Get Back to You,complete with psychedelic guitar & Lucy... strings, courtesy of the 'White album'. It also has some Mott the Hoople handclaps & a catchy-as-hell chorus.Pleasant. 'Drowned in Blue', kicking off with a Jimmy Page-esque riff, is one of the highlights of the experience, it is a subdued & desperate little tune, & a Hussey classic. Dim the lights, close the curtains and cry into your pillow type stuff. 'Cannibal' is strange, & I can't quite come up with any other word or phrase to describe it: spooky keyboards & a deep, sex
y Hussey whisper, not bad, but not spellbinding... ''These Tears Shall Drown in the Wind' is probably the best track on the whole album, making up for the lack of twelve-string guitar is this heartfelt little song that KOs at the end for a very dramatic effect. 'Black & Blue' is not worth mentioning, but 'Bang Bang' isn't so bad- and probably the eighth Beatles reference on the record thus far(& I'm being mighty generous, guys:). This is the working-mans' Mission, & it permeates the air like old sweat in a factory on Monday morning. 'Alpha Man' is a passable airheaded rock song worthy of Ian Astbury-penmanship. Trite only in its -fist-in-the-air' anthem sort of way, Wayne's naive charm on even the worst tunes makes forgiveness easy to come by. The 'Dying Room' is a shocking little plodder about abortion, grains of sand from the socially-conscious 'Carved in Sand'. 'More than This' is an almost trip-hop exercise. The most shocking song is the bastardized version of the best Mission song, 'Beyond the Pale' aside, 'ForeverMore'- here is appears as 'Ever More & Again'... Ugggghhhhh... This is a perfect example of great songs going under the butcher knife and returning as trite pieces of shite. The band reworks this, what was originally a breathtaking classical piano piece full of Wayne's best vocal performance ever, as a 'Close to Me 90' type song, & it just goes to show nobody bar Fat Boy Smith himself can get away with ridiculous muck like this. All in all, the record is weird but charming... And, hey, I didn't dislike it nearly as much as I thought I did, did I? Spin it a few times & the world starts to make sense, fellas...
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Coming Home
2 Get Back To You
3 Drown In Blue
5 More Than This
6 That Tears Shall Drown The Wind
7 Black & Blue
8 Bang Bang
9 Alpha Man
11 Dying Room
12 Evermore & Again