In the new single “The Elegant Charade,” the solo vehicle Blue for Black prioritizes string-born decadence over compositional dexterity, and while this doesn’t exactly fit in with any modern trends, it could be what makes this single so different. “The Elegant Charade” is a multidimensional kaleidoscope through which we get an exclusive look into the artistry of a truly talented individual. Flanked with eccentricities that run from an 80’s-style string pattern to synthetic shoegaze-like harmonies that would drown us were they to be converted into water. The results of Blue for Black’s experimentation are surprisingly potent, and I’m not the only fan who will tell you so.
Although it is perhaps the softest element here melodically, the lead vocal in “The Elegant Charade” has a lot of physicality it imparts to the master mix. There’s nothing in its construction that would qualify as being overindulgent, but even if it were to be skewed with a little sonic excess in a live performance, I think it would probably be just as memorable as it is here. It’s difficult to merge over the top harmonies with stingy lyrical narratives, but in this single, I believe that Blue for Black sets a good example for his younger contemporaries to follow.
The bassline in this track backs up the poetic web created behind the microphone with an equally brooding mixture of tonality and texture. I might have played with the EQ to get a slightly more defined sound out of the bass towards the end of the song, but aside from that, it’s one of the most powerful elements to be examined on the instrumental side of “The Elegant Charade.” It improves the accessibility of the lyrical content here brilliantly, and also helps to amplify the natural emotion in our singer’s unfiltered vocal.
Instead of following the beat of the drums, the singing we discover in this song is meant to pursue the swaggering movement of the pulsating rhythm, making it difficult for us to separate our focus from the sonic wallop of the instrumentation as a whole. Blue for Black was determined to get a big reaction out of his audience in this track, and in giving “The Elegant Charade” as progressive-minded a finish as he did, he ensured that no critic, whether in the mainstream or the underground alike, could accuse him of trying to bandwagon with fleeting trends as so many of his peers have lately.
Fans of alternative music would be wise to hear what Blue for Black is laying down in the new single “The Elegant Charade” if for no other reason than to hear what true-blue industrial pop sounds like when it isn’t doused in pointless polishes best left on the sidelines for most songs. This artist has come out of nowhere in 2020 but seems to be attracting the kind of positive attention that any newcomer to the spotlight would love to have, and after listening to his recent studio work, I can say I absolutely understand why.
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