Jonathan Cavier – Blue Room


“Middle of the Road” would probably be a better title for this album. This is so middle of the road, that I have to wonder if the white line was painted right down the center of it. That kind of music is really not my thing. However, I can divorce myself from my personal tastes to recognize brilliance and exceptional quality. This has little of those things. It’s also very one-dimensional. There is very little change from song to song in terms of intensity or pace. That makes it all kind of feel like the same tune over and over again. And, that makes it a bit boring.

The mainstream pop rock vibe on the opener (the title track) doesn’t really grab me. The whole package of this song feels over-produced and a bit “lowest common denominator” based. It’s almost the kind of thing that could bear the label “generic music.”

The vocals on “When You Come Around” are a bit whiny at times. I’m not crazy about that. The general pop ballad approach doesn’t do much for me, either. There are some cool bits of keyboards later in the track, though.

There is a bit of an alternative rock vibe to “Hollywood.” It’s much more of a rocker. It is also just a better song than the last tunes were.

For some reason I’m hearing some soft jazz in the mix on “Phoenix.” Maybe it comes from the guitar sound. Either way, this is a bit mainstream for my tastes. Yet, it has enough going for it to win me despite that.

While by this point I’m really wishing we had something with some crunch to break it up a bit, “Far Away” is one of the most satisfying pieces of the disc. It has a lot going on in terms of the song construction, yet never feels over-done.

By the time we get to “I Believe,” Cavier is really starting to feel a bit like a one-trick pony. There isn’t enough change in terms of volume level or tempo. Everything is starting to feel the same. This isn’t a bad song at all. It’s just too much like the music around it.

While “Somebody Like You” does provide some variety, it’s mostly because they turn it a bit toward a space rock sound. It doesn’t gel so well with the overall vibe of the tune, though, feeling just a bit weird and disjointed.

“Right Place” is next, and I would love to hear just a bit of crunch on the arrangement . I mean, this with just a little distorted guitar could land in the neighborhood of a power-ballad. That would bring some variety. This manages to stand pretty tall despite the monolithic element.

While “Someday” brings some variety, it’s not what I was thinking of when wishing for some change. It is sort of mainstream music based. It’s further from the type of thing I like and can appreciate than a lot of the rest.

As this started, I could hear Bevis and Butthead saying “yes!” Finally we get something more rocking. This isn’t crunchy, but it feels like rock music. It has a good energy and a rather progressive rock styled song construction.

I wouldn’t pick this as something to listen to in part because it’s not my kind of music. The thing is, I’m not sure if someone who loves that kind of AOR thing would be all that juiced to put this one, either. It’s just kind of mediocre and samey. I can imagine people programming single songs from this. I just can’t picture someone choosing to make their way from the start to the end of this album. It just doesn’t hold up as a set, no matter how you feel about the individual songs.


Steve Rafferty