Azure Blue – Beyond The Dreams There’s Infinite Doubt
Azure Blue is the solo project of already successful Tobias Isaksson, who is hailed internationally for his work with Swedish bands, Irene and Laurel Music. Also a popular DJ in Sweden, Isaksson has made his name well known all over Scandinavia, which is probably why you’re asking yourself who exactly is this guy and why he matters to you, since his fame hasn’t really made it to the States yet. The answer is simple: Beyond The Dreams There’s Infinite Doubt is a new wave record that deserves some attention.
Though some of you may have heard some Azure Blue through the debut album, Rule of Thirds, for most this is probably your first encounter with its new wave, electronic style. “Time is On Our Side” opens up the journey through the dreamy electro pop on a bold note, with the line, “I only wanted something real,” that seems to embark upon a story of a romantic nature; the declaration so earnest and sincere it begs you to connect to it. Meanwhile the music is a constantly swirling mix of battling synthesizers and soft percussion that you would expect of something that belongs in the new wave genre. At just under five minutes in length, this opening track gives you a basic idea of what this album has in store for you, but Azure Blue is only just beginning.
Immediately after this opening warm up track, the energy level gets turned up on “The Road I Know,” and from there they refuse to look back. The synthesizers are now more than droning waves of sound, but active parts of the mix, evoking the melody of the song right alongside Isaksson and some higher pitched vocals that pair nicely with his deep-set voice. Together, they create a lovely choral, dreamlike, arc to the song. Their vocals are smothered in reverb, which culminates with the chalky percussion so that the meandering synth riffs really stick out to give the song some harder edges. It ends slowly, with each layered element gradually fading away from the mix, and creating a solid song with a beginning, middle and end; six minutes flies by without you ever feeling slightly bored.
Like a dream in which certain instances particularly stand out to you, some of the songs on Beyond The Dreams There’s Infinite Doubt also allow for a little bit of attention-wandering. You have numbers that emerge from the dreamy trance of synthesizers and electronic beats like “Sunset,” as well as the aforementioned “The Road I Know,” but others slightly fail to bring something exciting to the album or the new wave/synth based electronic genre. It’s up to you to decide if that’s a positive or negative attribute for Azure Blue to have.