Style: Jazz, Soul, Rock, Hip Hop, Electronic
Released: January 12, 2015
Reviewed by Randy Radic
Multi-talented Joe Blessett recently released an album of his music. Among Joe’s panoply of talents: engineer, internet radio station owner, entrepreneur, composer, producer, videographer and internet recording artist. The album is called Excuse Me.
The term that most aptly describes the album’s music is Fusion. A fusion of jazz, blues, rock, soul and electronica. Excuse Me is definitely original, creative and unlike anything else anywhere. Horns, synthesizers, drum machines and bass swirl energetically, propelling the unconventional compositions along their sometimes serpentine, sometimes linear paths.
Excuse Me comprises twelve tracks. The first track is “Excuse Me,” a short piece impossible to categorize. It begins with a soft piano, then adds voices to the mix, followed by Spanish guitar licks and what sounds a little like a church choir. Ascetic, austere and devout to an astonishing degree, “Excuse Me” advises listeners to expect the unexpected.
The fourth offering on the album, “Taking It Down,” features a divine alto saxophone played with plangent severity on top of an electronic melody bubbling with jazz allusions. “Paying Bills” presents a tripartite fusion of Hip Hop, funk-a-delic and electronic dance music. The result is impulsive and reckless, like facts made ambiguous by rumors.
Joe slows things down on “Limelight,” which, if she were a man, sounds like Nina Simone performing leisurely Hip Hop. And near the end of the album, “Good to My Girl” provides a bluesy, Hip Hop tune that just doesn’t work. It’s simply too repetitious, both musically and lyrically.
The last track on Excuse Me is the most experimental piece. “Athene’s Theory” takes listeners where no listener has gone before: to the edge of galactic music. The song evokes visions of an unpredictable sci-fi movie that has long abandoned anything as mundane as a plot. Imagine Blade Runner without its protagonist, Harrison Ford. Initially, it’s ridiculous nonsense, but then it develops a remarkable charm.
Excuse Me is certainly not for everyone. But the album’s extended, thumping bass lines, along with its fusion of a variety of musical disciplines, contrives to produce an unprecedented musical adventure.