Delightfully obscure, Blue Cartoon originate from Austin, Texas where they built a reputation for sprightly power pop. Seemingly believing that direction was becoming a bit stale and predictable, they’ve refined their approach to embrace wide-ranging influences, and Are You Getting On is the uplifting end result.
The cliché in the accompanying press release refers to their sound as being what you get if you put ‘10CC, Roxy Music, T. Rex. Todd Rundgren and Yes into a blender’. Add The Beatles in there and it’s a pretty accurate portrayal of Blue Cartoon’s amalgam and tactical repositioning.
It’s often a winning mix, firmly rooted in the 70s. The title track and Dreaming Beautiful Songs have the polish of The Idle Jets at their finest. Only Cowboy In Timbuktu is a playful song that captures the band’s blatant humour, with the experimental, reggae-infused Gray Horizon also proving unexpectedly successful.
That said, there are moments where the music lacks clout. The pedestrian plod of Everyday’s A Saturday has the unfortunate air of a Wings b-side, and The Primrose Path is a morose way to end an album that contains moments of unbridled flair.