Review by Sean Lynch
RIYL:Hanson, Bowling For Soup, 3OH!3
Recommended Tracks: “Top Of The World,” “Castaway,” and “Jackie’s Baby”
Blues Traveler gives a sense of ‘90s nostalgia if you can remember Four with John Popper’s crooning on “Hook” and the epic harmonica solo that rounds off the song. The band has been all over the place in the past decade and are once again jamming back onto the scene with their new album Blow Up The Moon.
In recent years, the band has become a huge influence in the independent music world doing everything from creating albums full of covers to collaborating with Bruce Willis. Even through all the changes and musical projects with ass-kicking movie stars, Blues Traveler have kept their main draw to being a jam band and have not disappointed with their quality of music.
Blow Up The Moon is unconventional because of the artists that feature on the album. Each song has a specific band or artist that helps create an intriguing sound by combining their own with Blues Traveler. The bands and artists who feature on the album include some ‘90s favorites like Hanson, JC Chasez and Bowling for Soup while also adding some current artists to the mix with Rome Ramirez and Thompson Square.
“Top Of The World” is unique because of its composition. This song is one of the most vocal heavy on the album with support only coming from the light guitar and drums as well as John Popper’s amazing harmonica skills. Hanson does a great job of providing the backing vocals and prove that they didn’t just leave their singing skills back in the ‘90s with their long, sun bleached hair.
“Castaway” is a song with heavy ska influence because of Rome Ramirez. Ramirez has been a heavy influence on Sublime with Rome and has become known for his reggae style of vocals. John Popper takes the back seat to Ramirez with this song being one of the few times that he lets another artist take the lead. “Jackie’s Baby” comes off as a ballad similar to an a capella group, but with a hard rock influence.
Blues Traveler goes along the path of obscurity by shying away from their traditional style of bluesy, folk inspired rock with the incorporation of their featured artist who play pop or country music. The blending of their sound creates original songs and a perplexing composition. Blow Up The Moon is an album that covers a plethora of musical genres and experiments with new sounds while still staying true to the Blues Travelers core sound.