Rated Blue "JOY" Album Released!

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GMaq
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Rated Blue "JOY" Album Released!

Post by GMaq »

Rated Blue has just released their 3rd Album "JOY", Details and links on the Bandshed Records Blog..

http://www.bandshed.net/2020/06/25/rate ... -released/

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turbidh20
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Re: Rated Blue "JOY" Album Released!

Post by turbidh20 »

Very Nice :D I particularly liked "My Brother John" and "Don't Let Me Linger Too Long".

Loved the overall sound and the production. Great harmonies. Well done, very good.
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English Guy
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Re: Rated Blue "JOY" Album Released!

Post by English Guy »

Well done, not only because your work is good; most people here will recognise what a lot of hard work this represents.

A friend of mine once described using Linux as building your own aircraft to go on a trip. Congratulations on not only building your own aircraft but having a successful flight.

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GMaq
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Re: Rated Blue "JOY" Album Released!

Post by GMaq »

@turbidh20 @English Guy

Thank you both, appreciate the comments! :D

carlv
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Re: Rated Blue "JOY" Album Released!

Post by carlv »

May sound like a cop out, but you had me at the album title.

To all involved, take a bow. Please...

spamatica
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Re: Rated Blue "JOY" Album Released!

Post by spamatica »

Hey man,

I participate here way to seldom, which saddens me a bit. But, priorities...

Anyway, I have listened several times to this and I love it! Good recording, very nice arrangement and playing. I hope you can get it spread a bit wider, it certainly deserves it :)
In these weird times I guess gigging is out of the question but I hope you can get to play this for people too. Do you think you can convince the organist to come along? \o/ Very good addition to your setup!

I liked the post about the album too, nice with some background. Inversion of reality... we certainly have that... Maybe it's a bit brighter on the horizon but that might just as well be the skies catching fire.

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Rainmak3r
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Re: Rated Blue "JOY" Album Released!

Post by Rainmak3r »

Listened to it while working, today, and found it nothing short of amazing... it's a bit unfair, actualy, as composition, mixing and playing are all top notch, and really make me feel I'm wasting my time when I try to do any of those myself :lol:

I think I already said how much I loved "Chances are", my other favourite track is probably "Wrong foot". Time to hit rewind and listen to it again!

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Re: Rated Blue "JOY" Album Released!

Post by folderol »

Oi!
I'm supposed to be doing development work today - looks like it's going to be delayed :lol:
Very much like what I've heard so far. The Hammond definitely adds an extra demension (that was a typo - but it fits) to an already first class performance.

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milo
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Re: Rated Blue "JOY" Album Released!

Post by milo »

Solid work, GMaq! I've been enjoying "Chances Are" ever since you posted a RC here some weeks ago, and I just dig that tune. It is still my favorite, even after considering the other tracks on the album.

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GMaq
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Re: Rated Blue "JOY" Album Released!

Post by GMaq »

@carlv

Thanks! No cop out, your few chosen words said a lot!

@spamatica

Hey, great to see you here and thanks for the kind words, I'm very much a fan of the things you post here as well! Here's hoping for better days ahead indeed!

@Rainmak3r

Thanks so much! Please don't sell yourself short, there is no way I could possibly come up with those beautiful classical influenced pieces that you post here! It's not a competition... for me the variety of stuff that's posted here and the collective strength of what everyone accomplishes in their own wheelhouse is what makes this little corner of the forum a rewarding (and refreshingly not ego-driven) place to visit both to listen and to share!

@folderol

Haha don't let me be the one to blame for delaying the next Yoshimi release! Your kind words and support are always appreciated!

@milo

Thanks for taking time to listen, it's very much appreciated! Looking forward to more from the Sanderson collective!

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ufug
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Re: Rated Blue "JOY" Album Released!

Post by ufug »

I've been away from here for a bit but I've streamed JOY repeatedly, and I love it more each listen. It's a special thing when enjoyment of the music as a listener transcends the Linux aspect and it's just plain good music.

The grooves are excellent (according to the way my head is involuntarily bobbing when I listen), the writing is strong, the production and mixing is spot on (although you could have bumped the vocals a bit :wink:). Mesmerized and Chances Are are the standouts for me. And Engine 18. Honestly, I dig them all.

What did you use for the strings and horns on Mesmerized? I was pretty certain they were the real deal but...

And what did you do for mastering? It just sounds so good (it's loud but it doesn't sound squished at all) and everything is cohesive.

Amazing accomplishment.
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GMaq
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Re: Rated Blue "JOY" Album Released!

Post by GMaq »

ufug wrote:
Wed Jul 08, 2020 10:44 pm
I've been away from here for a bit but I've streamed JOY repeatedly, and I love it more each listen. It's a special thing when enjoyment of the music as a listener transcends the Linux aspect and it's just plain good music.

The grooves are excellent (according to the way my head is involuntarily bobbing when I listen), the writing is strong, the production and mixing is spot on (although you could have bumped the vocals a bit :wink:). Mesmerized and Chances Are are the standouts for me. And Engine 18. Honestly, I dig them all.

What did you use for the strings and horns on Mesmerized? I was pretty certain they were the real deal but...

And what did you do for mastering? It just sounds so good (it's loud but it doesn't sound squished at all) and everything is cohesive.

Amazing accomplishment.
Wow, thanks so much!

I'm still listening to your Sugar Gas album too so I totally get what you mean about enjoying the work at face value without considering the nuts and bolts aspect.. :wink:

I've had a few comments about the horns on Mesmerized, actually an assistant engineer at "The Orange Lounge" Studio in Toronto heard the album and thought they were real horns... Unfortunately Bandshed Records doesn't currently have a horn section or a string quartet, what we do have is a Korg (Roland) Juno Di hardware synth that I took in as payment for studio time from a friend, it has sat in a bag here for about a year until I got working on this album and when I busted it out I was blown away by the quality of the sound patches and that bright and brassy horn patch on Mesmerized, the lush strings on Chances Are and the ethereal pads in Engine 18 and Linger all came from it... I barely know anything about keyboards but this thing has been great!

As far as mastering goes I basically use either an old linuxDSP Black EQ-2 or a Fabfilter Pro-Q3 (via LinVST) for holistic corrective EQ on Ardour's Master bus, in addition I use Auburn Sounds Panagement 2 for stereo widening and a bit of dimension pre-fader and lastly I use uhe's Presswerk Limiter post-fader with it's "Punchy" setting with the "Release" set at 12 o'clock and the Saturation turned off completely for limiting, it's very musical and transparent and it tells you very quickly if you are mauling your mix to death. I set a threshold of around -6db max and am careful about making sure the Input isn't going into the red before limiting..

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forestandgarden
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Re: Rated Blue "JOY" Album Released!

Post by forestandgarden »

So, it has taken me a while to go to town and get the streams for offline listening at home, but now I'm finally having the album, and it's a keeper. This is just the second listen, on a tablet, and I haven't even had the opportunity to listen on real speakers, but I didn't want to procrastinate anymore, so here are, en lieu of a well composed elogy, just my impressions:

Mesmerized - stylish, laid back groove architecture; sweet hookline
Wrong Foot - is this the same version as the youtube vid introducing MOD Duo & Little Thunder? The rawness of the latter was nice :)
My Brother John - pretty cool, there's really a lot going on, from the raw, story-telling verses, to the epically wide instrumental parts, a proper journey
Engine 18 - for some reason, a favorite - I think it's the outstanding intensity of the singing, really impersonating the story, that's winning me here
Joy - I think it's the psychedelic quality I'm connecting to here, plus, there are a lot of moments transmitting the fun the musiscians are having playing
Chances Are - as with Wrong Foot, having heard a pre-release, is making me biased, I'm just a fan of raw & sketchy; the fast part is taking off really well, from there' it's all rolling
Don't Let Me Linger Too Long - a nice closing bracket for the album, reaffirming the novelty in Rated Blue's sound, the 'big' rock band sound, choirs, violins, and ofc. the organ, in the tradition of, say, The Band

The stylistic mix is feeling well integrated, the songs, and their parts, do blend with each other naturally and without any sense of abruptness, and there's a wealth of aesthetic references making listening and re-listening a pleasant journey of discovery and a celebration of good musical tastes.

Personally, what I cherish most, are moments of authentc intensity - narrative intensity, storytelling, for which the 'larger' sound is opening many possibilities, and raw intensity (incl. pshychedelic departures), in which Connor and you can show what a well tuned & compact team you are.

Thanks a real lot for this gem, I'm sure more re-listens will follow, becasuse this is sounding better with each time.
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Re: Rated Blue "JOY" Album Released!

Post by Nachei »

Congratulations, what an excellent album!

My favorites so far are:

My Brother John: epic, in the literal sense. I love the initial riff, it's like a war call, or a traditional ballad... and the way the riff comes back after the bridge is wonderful, I love the whole structure and the energy of the song.

Engine 18: In this one I enjoy above all its original long cadence, weird in a good way. I think it's a cadence that is submitted to the melody, and that's why as you listen you go several times "OK, it is finished now, no, wait, it's still going... Now it's going to go to minor, right? No, wait, major again..." I found it very enjoyable and interesting.

Don't Let Me Linger Too Long: this one is not only a very good song, but, as someone mentioned already, an excellent album ending. Great choice. In fact, I think it applies to the whole selection, I don't think I could come up with any better order for the songs. I'm happy to see that there's people out there who still think in terms of albums...

And the drummer is damn good! The drumming in the "Best of" was good too, but maybe it was a bit more basic, more in the background. In this one there are a lot of rolls and tom action, very inspired and energetic... Well, all the performances are great, perhaps I notice the drums more only because I'm currently struggling to integrate some Drumgizmo tracks in a song...

Anyways, great job, thank you for sharing...
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GMaq
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Re: Rated Blue "JOY" Album Released!

Post by GMaq »

@forestandgarden @Nachei

Thanks so much for such in-depth listening and comments! Saying I appreciate it is an understatement..

For anyone to even ponder the relationship of the songs to each other or to see the purpose of the song order is a tremendous gift to me! Indeed there was much thought put into collecting these songs together and a narrative in ordering them in that way. To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln: "such a joy to be comprehended" :D

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