Blue Peter: Up To You
At last there is a major release from Toronto-based band Blue Peter, and the six·song EP Up To You has been well worth the walt.
Like their previous releases. Up To You was produced by the band's songwriter and guitarist Chris Wardman, with the help of engineer Kevin Doyle. The production, like everything else about the band, has matured a great deal since the last album, Radio Silence.
The songs are more complex musically and the arrangements more sophisticated They no longer rely primarily on guitar, bass and drums alone but have added synthesizers and horns to some songs. This results in greater variety in the sound and mood of the songs: tho smooth. soaring synthesizer accompaniment in "Around You" contrasts sharply with the bright, bouncy horns in the funky title song.
The lyrics are vivid and fascinating as usual. The song "Up To You" is full of images of mindless urban panic - "static in the wires/slogans on the air/servants on the TV/dollars in our prayers" - following each other like sharp punches. "Guilty Secret" is perhaps the best anti-war song Chris Wardman has ever written.
The frighteningly clear thoughts and pictures of war get the message across without belabouring the point or handing out some catchy but trite slogan.
The EP is not pessimistic - " Around You'' is a touchingly hopeful love song. innocently optimistic - but neither does it offer a pat solution to anything. It is. after all, called Up To You. It is also one of the most exciting releases of tho summer.
Thought-provoking poetic lyrics, complex and varied music, danceable beats, and a unique style developed over three or four years of self-production: this is no plastic-producer bandwagon band.
Up To You is Blue Peter's best work so far, and it is excellent . but in it they open up so many new directions it is obvious they can still go a long way.
Watch for a new album from Ready Records early next year. It could be history.