Andre Ethier – Born of Blue Fog

Blue Fog

As Andre Ethier moves further from the rock ’n’ roll baseline set by his previous band Deadly Snakes he becomes an even more slippery animal. At times he’s a medieval troubadour at others a moody freak-folk ambassador and a neo-Dylan philosopher. As his thoughtful baritone slithers through these different personas he’s able to create a hypnotic cabaret. Unfortunately his success varies from track to track.

Aside from the occasional turn of phrase or acoustic groove there is nothing remarkable about the songwriting on the album but there is magic to be found in the details. The recording is wonderfully crisp especially considering Blue Fog’s tradition of releasing fuzzed-out psych-rock. With production help from Hylozoists vibe-man Paul Aucoin every ramshackle note is crystal clear. The greatest moments on the album are found in the string arrangements though. Whether it’s the haunting seesaw of violin and cello or the classic Motown-styled swells Born of Blue Fog evokes serious beauty without ever being saccharine.