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burningsun.jpgBlue Merle
Burning in the Sun

© 2005 Island Records
I came across a copy of Blue Merle’s Burning in the Sun recently, and I have to say that I really don’t know what to make of it. The lead singer sounds exactly like Chris Martin from Coldplay. Exactly. Everyone I play this for thinks that it’s Coldplay. The music sounds like a weird mix between Coldplay, Dave Matthews Band, and Nickel Creek (while only briefly on the latter hinting at bluegrass the whole time). I really, really, really don’t know what to make of it. It’s great pop music. I enjoy music that is good. Pop music, while usually overproduced or oversimplified, can be very good sometimes. What a pickle…


Hell, just scan the Amazon.com reviews of this album and you can see a clear pattern. The fans love Blue Merle and believe they have a huge amount of potential. The haters believe that they sound like Coldplay or Dave Matthews Band. Maybe they’re onto something…

It’s not to say that I don’t enjoy listening to the album. But, something about it falls flat. I wasn’t rushing out to figure out what stage Blue Merle is playing on at Bonnaroo (Saturday, June 11: The Other Tent). I wasn’t looking for tour photos like the Uber Google user that I am. I was pleasantly filled with the sounds of really good pop rock. There’s nothing wrong with that.

I’m not even going to give a full play-by-play. Unfortunately, I think people have a bad taste in their mouth when they smell creativity lacking, and due to the voice and the sound on this album, it turned me off right away. Scratch that. It turned itself off.