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The following are Supernova reviews & comments by music industry insiders. This includes professional A&R reps, songwriters, publishers, musicians, dancers, managers, agents, etc.
Nice Work, I dig the middle-eastern influence
- Gat Turner of Paris (re: Making Up)
This band has the ability to seduce with atmosphere and texture.
Liquid Blue's 2 awesome fortes are 1) its lyrics & lyrical themes, and; 2) the combination of styles.
This is a very unusual group vocally and instrumentally. I love the production and instrumentation. This deserves to be heard. Good luck!
Strong presentation. I like how you blend far eastern influences into your tracks. Sounds great and unique too. One of things that sets Liquid Blue apart is your lyrics. Songs "Real" and "Give Me Back My Heart" are penetrating narratives that go deeper than the standard fare. Great song structure.
The band can certainly play, and there are enough specific stylistic elements at play here to define an unconventional but acceptable identity.
Lyrically, it was refreshing to listen to subjects rarely tackled in this kind of format, namely, socially conscious issues that most people don't think about in their everyday lives. It was an interesting juxtaposition in hearing pop melodies and pristine vocals speaking about cleaning up the oceans and settling the debt problems for our children.
Your lyrics are excellent. Lyrics that make you think yet are not overbearing. Particularly "Give Me Back My Heart." "Show Me Love" has real commercial appeal. You do a great job enforcing the hook. I like the middle eastern influences in your music. You do a great job blending these sounds with contemporary pop/r&b arrangements.
Like how you incorporate middle eastern music arrangements and sound effects on "Give Me Back My Heart." The bass and drums on both songs were strong and contemporary. Your lyrics have depth. Political statement on "Give Me Back My Heart." The Want to hear more vocal range on "Show Me Love." The vocal on "Give me Back My Heart" was dynamic.
The band has definitely honed a particular musical direction. I love the mixing of the eastern styles with the contemporary sound. Good musicianship, arrangement & singing. Good writing. My favorite was "Real".
“Loved the intro. The song from beginning to end was a touch of brilliance. Great recording, Great performance, great instrumentation and something most people forget is the great mixdown. Female vocals are awesome. Snappy articulations but tasteful. The girl's got attitude.” (Give Me Back My Heart)
- Broadjam Engineer
Expansive, eclectic influences to this track (Kashmir) certainly gets out attention from the top.. Djembe, Exotic vocal parts, production is creative throughout, Intro is terrific... good groove.. live playing.. rhythm guitar and the lick between the vocals are highlights.
You've managed to get credibly exotic Middle Eastern sounds out of your primarily electronic gear, and the feel inevitably recalls Led Zep's "Kashmir," as well as providing an unmistakable reminder of the trouble in that part of the world. This one (Pretend) rocks more than anything else I've yet heard from the band.
This song (Supernova) is about as unique a song I've heard in some time. This song has film score written all over it. The production and mix of influences are standout. The album is a very strong package. Pitch this project to labels.
- Richard Jay, The MusicBroker.net
A huge introduction both musically and the energy (Rhythm Of Love). Richard Jay, The MusicBroker.net (Rescue) a very strong power-pop song. Could be a single; Radio Ready. Richard Jay, The MusicBroker.net Very radio friendly track (Arms of Love)
- Richard Jay, The MusicBroker.net
We are all, in a literal sense, citizens of the world. But how far can that notion be reflected in the way we live, the tastes we display, the customs we practice? As our planet shrinks metaphysically ｭ communications make the Earth a much smaller place than even our recent ancestors could ever have imagined ｭ most of us remain wedded to our own, relatively limited, experiences.
Yet music is one means by which we immerse ourselves in cultures that are geographically removed. If Europe and North America have shared a musical melting pot for a century or more, today the sounds of Latin America and West Africa, the tempos of the Caribbean and the Indian sub-continent, frequently color our aural palette, on the web, on the radio, on MTV, on the dance floor.
And few groups operating on the international stage at the turn of the new millennium typify this age of assimilation better than the US band Liquid Blue, an act that not only strives to explore the possibilities of musical inter-marriage but also takes that cosmopolitan blend across oceans and plains, over mountains and deserts, in fact to most corners of the global village.
Liquid Blue's live odyssey has taken the San Diego-based group to six continents and 60 countries since the seven-piece announced an artistic intention to escape the somewhat restrictive straitjacket of rock'n'roll and soul, pop ballads and rhythm and blues, and add the flavors of many of the places they now regard as part of an annual itinerary.
Not that the styles that have made American popular music a dominating force for decades have been jettisoned. Instead, they have been enlivened, enriched and ornamented by Asian additions, Latin decorations and modes from Arabic lands. The results, framed on the bandｹs debut album Supernova, are usually exotic and frequently exhilarating.
The title track, with principal singer Nikki Nova to the fore, provides a potent example of the groupｹs versatility, displaying vocal and instrumental prowess in a dizzying array of styles ｭ rock rhythms touched by sub-Latin beats, and hints of the Middle East are entwined in a cocktail that is both surprising and exuberant.
It is refreshing, too, that music as determinedly upbeat and good-time as Liquid Blueｹs material most certainly is, does not rely merely on the banalities of lyrical clich・ The group's words reveal an awareness of broader issues and a political consciousness, expressing anti-war concerns and pro-green messages that transcend the usual fare of dance-oriented pop.
Not that the band is weighed down by the burden of soapbox manifestos. Arms of Love, with Layla Loxa on lead vocals, is simply a powerful romantic anthem but with a twist, again incorporating a wealth of references ｭ a touch of Bollywood, a hint of bhangra, a shot of sitar, potent with Eastern promise.
The political re-surfaces on Kashmir, however, with Scott Stephens in the vocal spotlight, as the natural wonders of a troubled land, caught in the territorial crossfire of India and Pakistan, are celebrated in a splendid concoction with touches of tabla and scratching and even Celtic hints in the mix, but Rhythm of Love returns us to that rich hybrid of Middle Eastern trills and pulsating beats, an ideal addition to the soundtrack of club international.
Liquid Blue's debut CD has been overseen under the watchful eye of Grammy-winning producer Joe Chiccarelli, whose credits range from Zappa to Baez, Annie Lennox to the Kronos Quartet, Tori Amos to Enrique Iglesias, a suitable resume, I'd argue, to take on the harlequin shades, the carnivalesque vigor of this groupｹs eclectic repertoire.
There has been much talk of World Music in the last 20 years, even some passing references to the idea of World Jazz, suggesting that musical form can transcend the barriers of West and East, the globeｹs developed and developing territories. But the cynics have been quick to characterize such concepts as the constructs of the record corporations' marketing departments.
World Pop has hardly been uttered in the same breath but if there is a group personifying such a universal spirit and not merely with an eye to the commercial main chance, Liquid Blue gets pretty close to the blueprint. Hereｹs a band which represents a new wave of performers and composers unbounded by the old restrictions of state, culture and language.
Variety, they say, is the spice of life: Liquid Blue with an expansionist eye and an open door to the musical menu of the planet, has taken the old saying well and truly to heart. Check it out.
Simon Warner is a lecturer, writer and broadcaster on popular music. He teaches at the University of Leeds in the UK, pens the "Anglo Visions" column for the webzine Pop Matters and is founding editor of the electronic publication Chapter & Verse: A Journal of Popular Music and Literature Studies. He published Rockspeak: The Language of Rock and Pop in 1996 and he contributes a chapter to the forthcoming collection Remembering Woodstock due to appear in 2004. Currently he is working on the title Text and Drugs and Rock'n"Roll, a book concerned with the links between the Beat writers and rock culture, and a BBC radio documentary reflecting on the 10th anniversary of Kurt Cobain's death.
"Supernova" is the culmination of almost eight years of touring and road work by a band that remains a spectacle to witness live but has always possessed a grand vision to give the public its version of a musical art form known as the album.
LiquidBlue's leader, founder and main songwriter, Scott Stephens, envisionedan original blend of Western pop rockwith the traditional sounds of East Indian music when he formed the band.
Thatmusical concept, along with a lyrical commitment to world peace, the environment and spirituality,is what drives the lush, sonic soundscapes of "Supernova."
It's a sound that can only be described as modern world pop.
While the music of Liquid Blue will remind the listener of everything from Sgt. Pepper-era Beatles and the solo work of George Harrison to the most modern dance music, Stephens calls the mission of Liquid Blue, "Pop music with a purpose."
Liquid Blue's "Supernova" is filled with all kinds of ear candy courtesy of vocalist/keyboardist Stephens, guitarist Michael Vangerov, drummer Jordan Medina, and bassist/saxophonist Rocket Rodriguez.
Liquid Blue's secret weapon -- both on stage and in the recording studio -- may just be The BlueGirls. Singers and dancers Nikki Nova, Devonee Dawn and Layla Loxa sing lead on a good portion of the "Supernova" songs.
If you are ever lucky enough to catch Liquid Blue live, the beauty, moves and distinct voices of The BlueGirls will move you in more ways than one.
And Liquid Blue has strutted its stuff to fans in countries all over the world. The San Diego-based bandplays almost 150 shows a year and has a world tour planned for 2004 that will take them to 34 countries. In 2002, the band performed two shows in Dalian, China , for more than 65,000 people each night while the second of those shows was televised to an estimated 700 million viewers in Asia.
But "Supernova" isabout capturing the band's magic in the recording studio.
And legendary producer Joe Chiccarelli, a two-time Grammy winner known for his work on numerous platinum albums, immediately jumped at the chance of guiding the band in the studio after hearing some of Liquid Blue's original music.
Recorded in 2004 at Western Studios on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, Liquid Blue created "Supernova" in periods of down time from the road.
So put on some headphones and take a trip with Liquid Blue to the East via the West.
Steven Ward is a staff writer with The (Baton Rouge) Advocate and a freelance music journalist. Besides serving as a Senior Editor at Rockcritics.Com, his music writing has been published in Classic Rock and the webzines Pop Matters.Com, Blistering.Com and Ghostland.Com. He has also contributed to The Boston Phoenix, Offbeat and Louisiana Life.