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Artist: Blue Man Group
Publisher: Lava Records
Total Length: 58:57 (Fifty-eight minutes, fifty-seven seconds)

THE Complex is Blue Man Groups second album. It was released earlier this year, and is the basis of their soon-to-be-released "The Complex Tour" DVD. This album has 14 songs on it with performances by additional artists, such as:

OVERALL The Complex is an excellent album, though many fans of the Blue Man Groups first album, Audio, may be put-off by the high amount of lyrics and vocals on The Complex. Audio has almost no vocals whatsoever, relying more on the melodies of the guitar, bass, and Tubulum as well as various other instruments created by the group, to afford it a melodic line. The Complex, on the other hand, combines both vocals and instruments to create a dazzling, and sometimes startling blend of melody and harmony. The Complex has vocals on every track, save tracks 1, 7, and 14, which have no notable vocals.

AS mentioned before, The Complex has 14 songs on it, each different from the others. The songs are:

    Above: Above is the first track of the album, and leaves you with the feeling that The Complex is going to be something other than what it really is. It has a very nice strings-melody to start off with, and then slowly adds percussion, and guitar in, to create a nice mixture that is not to heavy on the bass. (Performed by: Goldman, tanton, Wink, Dyas, Heinemann, Pai, Perlmutter)

    Time To Start: Time To Start is a nice shift from Above and gets you ready for the rest of the album. It is primarily percussion, once again, but does feature nice guitar work by Chris Dyas. The percussion work has an excellent beat, especially after Rock Concert Movement No.3, where there is a percussion solo, which is executed perfectly. Time To Start has no vocals written for it in the insert, but does contain the words- "It's time to start" "Rock Concert Movement No. 1: The Basic Head Bob" "Ready Go!" "Rock Concert Movement No. 2: The One-Armed Fist-Pump" "Ready Go!" "In a moment, it will be time to execute Rock Concert Movement No. 3: The Up-and-Down Jumping Motion." "Here are your instructions: Step 1- Bend your knees and then jump into the air." "Step 2- Let gravity bring you back down, and upon landing, rock your head forward." "Step 3- Repeat." "Ready, Go!" "Rock Concert Movement No. 4: The Behind-the-Head Leg-Stretch" "Ready, Go!" (Performed by: Goldman, Stanton, Wink, Dyas)

    Sing Along: Sing Along is the first track with center-point vocals (Vocals to which the song was written as an accompaniment), these sung by Dave Matthews. Sing Along is an excellent example of what else lies on The Complex, in that the song is a good, moderate tempo, the vocals relaxed. The overall melody is melancholy, but feeling still more-or-less upbeat. Dave Matthews sings with a nice vocal backing, which adds a haunting harmony. (Performed by: Goldman, Stanton, Wink, Dyas)

    Up To The Roof: This song moves to a different step than that of Sing Along. Up to the Roof is more upbeat, and relies more on the guitar. It is still a nice song, which combines, well, the vocals of Tracy Bonham, and the bass work of Larry Heinemann. Up to the Roof is a song that relays hope, and perhaps revelation. A nice change from the more tribal moods of Blue Man Groups other works. (Performed by: Goldman, Stanton, Wink, Dyas, Gleitsman, Heinemann, Perlmutter)

    Your Attention: Your Attention is another track much like Time to Start, without many centerpoint-vocals, but excellent narration by Todd Perimutter, and tastefull guitar solos by Chris Dyas. Your Attention also features nice turntable work. (Performed by: Goldman, Stanton, Wink, Dyas, Heinemann, Pai, Perlmutter)

    Persona: Persona features the vocals of Josh Haden, and combines shimmering guitar melodies, with what must be a "Chorus" pedal, and well-plucked bass lines. Persona is a very depressed song, that conveys the feeling of hopelessness and...giving up. The basic message is that Haden (like all of us feel at one time or another) is wearing a mask that he can't take off, and no matter how many he removes, there will always be more. An excellent track. Very haunting. Also quite notable Tubulum work. (Performed by: Goldman, Stanton, Wink, Dyas, Gleitsman)

    Piano Smasher: Old style Blue Man Group with superb Piano Smasher (Yes, that's the name of the instrument) by The Blue Men. (Performed by: Goldman, Stanton, Wink, Dyas, Perlmutter)

    White Rabbit: This song, which features Esthero, is a wonderous, almost dreamy combination of guitar/bass and Tubulum, with guitar solos by Nels Cline, and Zither. White Rabbit is a sing-songy tune which seems to continually make references to "Alice in Wonderland," and various drug references, as well. Not a bad song, but not the best. (Performed by: Grace Slick/Irving Music/BMI)

    The Current: ...Oh God..What the hell can one say? This song is unbelievable. The main message is that the singer, Gavin Rossdale, is stuck working underground during the day, and hasn't seen the sun in seven years. The style of the song is a nice hard-rock tune, that has the feeling of a David Bowie song in it. An awesome tune, that is probably the best on the album. (Performed by: Goldman, Stanton, Wink, Dyas, Gleitsman)

    Shadows Part 2: A haunting song featuring the vocals of Tracy Bonham and very cool turntable work by Rob Swift. What the song is supposed to be about, exactly, is unclear, but it is a very well-played, very...creepy song. (Performed by: Goldman, Stanton, Wink, Dyas, Gleitsman, Perlmutter)

    What is Rock: An excellent song featuring the vocals of Arone Dyer, and the killer keyboard work of Peter Moore. The song is an education in what makes up a "Rock-and-Roll" song as the various vocals "discuss" throughout the song. It also features the "Rock Concert Movement No. 6: The 2-handed Upwarded Thrust with Yell." Overall What is Rock is a great song with a good beat, and nice feel to it. Very energetic. Very sporadic, but very enjoyable. (Performed by: Goldman, Stanton, Wink, Dyas, Gleitsman)

    The Complex: The Complex, which features the vocals of Peter Moore, is a very slow song, with well defined melodies, and good backing guitar work. The Complex is a very mellow song, which seems to be about the struggle to get out of...something. Presumably an office building, or some other such thing. Very nice zither work by Dave Steele. (Performed by: Goldman, Stanton, Wink, Dyas, Gleitsman, Heinemann)

    I Feel Love: Basically a sooped-up version of the original song with a Blue Man Group "Percussive Spin" on it and the vocals of Annette Strean of VENUS HUM. The guitar in the chorus is very well done, as well as the guitar work, overall. Well played with good guitar work, that is, at times a little too distorted. Still well balanced, and a very upbeat feeling. Features the Vegas Drum Army. (Performed by: Peter Bellotte, Giorgio Moroder, Donna Summer/Rick S. Music/Sweet Summer Night Music/ASCAP)

    EXHIBIT 13: An awesome, entrancing example of the Blue Man Group, showing off their percussive talent, with nice sampling of radio/tv inserted tastefully, and not overused. Exhibit 13 is just an excellent piece, with great Tubulum, Zither, Dogulum, Drumulum, Mandeldrum, Mellotron Cello, and Paddle Tubulum work. Followed by a "hidden" track, to which the name is not known. Also another fine example of Blue Man Group talent, featuring the New York Drum Army. (Performed by: Goldman, Stanton, Wink, Banks, Dyas, Heinemann, Parrulli)

The Complex also has one more feature. It is an "Enhanced CD" which means that you can insert it into your computer to get additional media. The CD contains a "The Making of 'The Complex" and "Sing Along" videos (Requirements below). The Complex is an excellent CD, through and through. It can be purchased from a variety of places, and stores, and usually costs around 20 dollars (U.S.) without the sticker and pin (available only from the Blue Man Group website).

Requirements for The Complex- Enhanced CD:

  • PC: Win95/Win98/NT, 180 MHz Pentium with 2x CD-Rom and 8MB Ram, Quicktime 3
  • Macintosh: PowerPC with 2x CD-Rom and 16MB Ram, Quicktime 3, System 7.51 or higher

  • http://www.blueman.com

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