Bleu: Four

Power-pop investment.

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William McCauley III probably earns a tidy living writing songs for movies, but he can’t stop scratching the itch that is his alter ego, Bleu, despite rough treatment from a major label that almost buried his power-pop credentials.

This time he’s raised $40,000 from Bleu fans to make the record himself.

The infectious opener Singin’ In Tongues is a guaranteed festival crowd pleaser, while the quirky, up-close-and-personal I’m In Love With My Lover is a potentially huge hit (a la Extreme’s More Than Words) that could bring Bleu festival status.

The record may lack cohesion but every track is a perfectly formed vignette. B.O.S.T.O.N. is a home-town homage that should earn a permanent place on local-radio playlists, How Blue is a sumptuous, string-laden ballad, and the epic You Catch More Flies With Honey Than Vinegar is a slimmed-down, six-minute epic. The band’s investors will enjoy it.

Hugh Fielder

Hugh Fielder has been writing about music for 47 years. Actually 58 if you include the essay he wrote about the Rolling Stones in exchange for taking time off school to see them at the Ipswich Gaumont in 1964. He was news editor of Sounds magazine from 1975 to 1992 and editor of Tower Records Top magazine from 1992 to 2001. Since then he has been freelance. He has interviewed the great, the good and the not so good and written books about some of them. His favourite possession is a piece of columnar basalt he brought back from Iceland.