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  Blue Shade Witness
Artist: Blue Shade Witness
Label: Double Zero Records
Length: 6 tracks/24:28 minutes

Chicago's Blue Shade Witness has burst onto the music scene with an anthem-worthy sound in their debut self-titled EP. Unfettered in their approach and paced by a somewhat bombastic, Brit-rocker style, the foursome have made quite a positive impression on this reviewer.

Blue Shade Witness features a power chord method reminiscent of the Goo Goo Dolls in the majority of the six songs on this debut. The lyrics are of the self-introspective, melancholy sort. Chief lyricist and lead singer Joel Bennett succeeds in creating a sober poetic atmosphere that does not get mucked up with too much self pity. Example to this point: In the excellent first cut "The Stars Will Shine," Bennett laments, "Will I ever shine again/Is this the healing you promised, my friend," only to reassure himself in the chorus, "In time I know that we'll be free/We'll kiss the sun with golden wings/And the stars will shine on me." There is definitely writing of a deep nature going on here and it fits the music perfectly.

Blue Shade Witness is at their best when they stick to their power chords and the glamorous sound. They fall flat when they attempt an acoustic ballad in the final cut "Drowning." Bennett's voice seems out of place with the music around him and is definitely better suited for a more energized tone.

Overall, a great debut and one from a band that is in the process of creating its own niche. More excellent outings should be expected from these guys.

Noel Lloyd
7/27/2003

   
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