Jonathan Donaldson and the Color Forms
"Beyond Blue Bells" CD
Genres: indie pop
Jan 26 - Feb 1 2004
Donaldson and the Color Forms specialize in complex, layered pop
music and that's exactly what you can expect from Beyond Blue Bells,
their fun-packed debut album. That is, if you find lush guitars,
plodding rhythms, and soft pop "fun-packed."
Well. Beyond Blue Bells is, actually, a very accomplished
and enjoyable album. It isn't guaranteed to be everyone's cup of
tea, and there certainly is a
chance it may not be your cup of tea, but that's how the world works, isn't
it? Let's look at the facts.
Fact #1: Many of Beyond Blue Bells' songs sound as if they are
comprised of a bunch of other songs played together simultaneously. Good
thing or bad thing? Depends on your frame of reference.
Just be assured that it doesn't sound nearly as jarring as you'd think.
In fact it's rather subtle, and I'm somewhat worried that I may be the
only one to actually pick up on it.
Fact #2: Beyond Blue Bells will require two, three, or maybe
even four listens before you'll start to really enjoy it. Good
thing or bad thing? This also depends. Keep in mind some
of the best things in life require waiting.
Fact #3: Beyond Blue Bells is a remarkably catchy
album. Good thing or bad thing? Once again, this
depends. If you like pop music, then chances are it's a good
thing. If you don't, then it probably isn't. Simple, ain't
Fact #4: Donaldson is influenced by bands like Jonathan
Richman and the Modern Lovers, XTC, and many other eighties
bands like Simple Minds and Morrissey. Good thing
or bad thing? For the last time, it all depends. If you
like these bands, good; if you don't, bad.
So? Need I say anymore? Need I drag this out
further? Need I uselessly patronize you any longer? You've
got the facts, you make the choice.
[Vitals: 11 tracks, distributed by the
band, released 2002]