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How I Became Lovesick Over Patterson’s Bleuphoria

July 14, 2011

I have been holding my review of Rahsaan Patterson‘s Bleuphoria for a few weeks now. One, because it should come out just before the album is released (Tuesday, July 19) and two, because I wanted to make sure my initial response was, in fact, accurate. When I first put the CD in to play, these are my notes, per track. Please note, nothing has been changed, not even the typo or the attention to grammatical rules.

1. I Only Have Eyes for You – yes!
2. Ghost – yeeeesss!!
3. Crazy (Baby) – love that open…
4. Easier Said Than Done – this is the one…
5. Stay With Me – okay… yeah, I like…
6. Miss You – damn, VOICE!!
7. Goodbye – sold.
8. Bleuphoria – love it.
9. Mountain Top – do I know thi ssong?
10. Makin’ Love – yaaassssss!!!!!!!
11. 6 AM – you already know.
12. Insomnia – best for last?
13. God – i ain’t mad atcha. damn.

As you can see, I like it. Now, to be clear, those of you who already read my posts know that I am a fan of Rahsaan Patterson. If you didn’t already know that, the smart choice is to go back to the last sentence and click on that pretty green link that is waiting to transport you to the “6AM” post, in which I make it clear. That being said, I also wouldn’t recommend something that I don’t care for. I do have a rep to protect. I can tell you from jump that the while I am a fan of Beyonce, I loathe “Single Ladies.” I like the idea of supporting local businesses but get pissed off when they have crappy customer service and a poor selection. I love my mama – and she’s a phenomenal cook – but she’s also the woman who created Green Onion Casserole back in 1978 and has yet to live it down. So, yeah, I can call it like it is. And Bleuphoria is some good shit. That’s your soundbite. Feel free to put it on the posters.

photo: Raj Naik

Now, on to the actual music. To be fair, any of the first few tracks could easily have been the opener, but “I Only Have Eyes for You” does its job setting the tone quite nicely. Smart move, giving us an uptempo, updated version of a classic to start things off: you’re immediately comfortable, even if you don’t recognize that this is a remake, you’ll still be bobbing your head and ready for track 2. As we segue into “Ghost,” where Patterson is joined by old friend Jody Watley, it’s akin to adjusting gears in a five speed so you can hit that 100 mph mark: a funk-filled, club-ready joint that should keep listeners happy for years to come.

Jumping forward, we go into what could be my favorite track on the album… “Crazy (Baby).” I’m not quite sure how to classify it… but it’s the most-played track from the album. Getting an assist from my girl Faith Evans, the song gives an experimental vibe that I wish more artists wouldn’t be afraid to try. The rhythm is set by this amazing, driving beat that would be at home on any dance floor in the universe. We quickly move into “Easier Said Than Done,” the first single. Patterson is four songs in and keeping that uptempo sound, your head’s still bobbing and before you finish hearing this song one good time, you’ll be singing along as if you’ve known it your whole life.

photo: Raj Naik

Switching gears, which is appropriate at this point, Patterson tells us to “Stay With Me,” which you will… just sit back and enjoy his voice. We then move into “Miss You,” where he explains that he’s “not the same without your lovin’.” The melody is simple, yet beautiful, but this is a song about the lyrics. Reminiscent of Anthony Hamilton’s “Charlene,” Patterson clearly conveys that life isn’t the same without this person in it. It’s beautiful.

As we reach the next selection, “Goodbye,” the storyline is taking shape in my mind… now Patterson is just showing off; he’s got an amazing range and it’s as if he were one of those muscle-bound guys who decide “work out” on 125th and Lenox in Harlem, letting the girls (and guys) alike gawk at their chiseled pecs and thick thighs. Patterson is doing that same shit, but vocally, letting all the other singers have it. Like… what’s up now, bitches? I ain’t mad at him.

Interestingly enough, the title track “Bleuphoria,” is almost an interlude. To be honest, I’m not exactly sure what the hell Patterson is saying here, but my take is that bluephoria = lovesick, but in a good way. Not that whole puppy dog-eyed, yearning, searching lovesick, but a happy, living-in-the-moment, let’s-kiss-on-the-beach-and-run-around-laughing-and-smiling-in-our-underwear-during-a-black-and-white-montage-in-a-romantic-comedy kind of lovesick. “Take me higher higher higher…” Sounds like a good place to be…

photo: Raj Naik

Up next… “Mountain Top,” a slow-burn, gospel-infused romp assisted by Tata Vega and an Andrae Crouch-directed choir. I love this one. In fact, let me re-listen. Twice. Three times and I am sold. Love it. And from the gospel we propel into… “Makin’ Love.” You really have to appreciate the sequential nature of these songs. This joint is rhythmic, and who doesn’t like some good, rhythmic love makin’? The last third of the song goes extraterrestrial on me, which I don’t necessarily get, but maybe that’s the way Patterson makes love. It’s definitely interesting… hmmm… I’m going to let that one be.

And from one set of love makin’ to another… the second single, “6AM” gives you all that you need. It feels like the conclusion of “Bleuphoria” (the interlude/song, not the album), with sexy imagery abounding… “yawnin’, layin’ down next to you…” I have already stated numerous times that I love this one, so on to “Insomnia,” which might be my favorite song. I know I said the same thing about “Crazy (Baby),” but I am a grown-ass man. Leave me alone. There’s also a bit of experimental flavor to it that draws me in… Call me crazy, but I could almost imagine this song in a Broadway musical… with the full cast singing the chorus… would be amazing.

photo: Raj Naik

And we end with “God.” To be fair, it seems awfully groove-matic for the title, but I find myself [once again] bobbing my head, settling into the groove…it’s as if Patterson is saying that the party continues, even after the album has ended. And, yet again, who can be mad about that?

In the end, Rahsaan Patterson has created a cohesive blend of pop, rock, soul, R&B, gospel, you name it, and wisely manages to assuage not only his hardcore fans, but also anyone who happens across the disc and pops it into a CD player. Clearly, you can buy it online, but if you do, I really recommend that you get the entire CD and don’t cherry-pick the songs you think you’ll like. There’s a story here and the CD is better listened to as a whole, not just in bits and pieces.

I don’t believe in that star/record/mic/whatever else folks are using for a rating system these days shit. You just read me say over and over again that this is a good CD. Clearly, I highly favor it. You will too.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Kerry permalink
    July 15, 2011 2:46 PM

    Always loved Rahsaan’s talent, will definitely be purchasing Bluephoria. Wish him MUCH success and love!

  2. jonathan permalink
    July 18, 2011 7:13 AM

    ok…so im listening to insomnia, nice enough…im like this is a nice song…then that chorus erupts in my earphones and im like WHOA!!! LOVE IT!!

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