Blue October does it again with their new album, Any Man in America, featuring incredibly emotive songs about the life of lead singer Justin Furstenfeld and his struggles with his family.
The songs featured focus on Furstenfeld’s struggles with his wife in court over their daughter, Blue. The group goes as far as opening The Flight (Lincoln to Minneapolis) with a voice recording left on Furstenfeld’s voicemail of his ex-lover telling him her opinion of his fathering abilities.
The music is disturbingly real, with no holds barred by Furstenfeld. His wife was recorded telling him “you have failed miserably” while referring to Furstenfeld’s ability to be a father.
His husky voice creates for an incredibly haunting melody that draws listeners in to feel his pain and self-hate. He sings about a certain white-rapper’s Mockingbird and how he was blown away by the honesty coming through the rapper’s mouth as he lays all his cards out in the music.
Inspired largely by other musicians also well known for their life stories as opposed to commercialized phrases that wouldn’t have made sense ten years ago. His tirades are filled with rage and his ballads filled with a colossally deep sadness and self-loathing. His openness with regard to his disagreements with his wife over his daughter show how much he feels and so many people could find themselves relating to the anguish he felt when the courts chose his wife over him countless times during the fights.
The band’s Fear shows his determination to get over his fears, speaking of how “fear in itself will … break you down like you were never enough”. He tells listeners how he sees the beauty of learning to face his inner beast and finding some peace. It’s clear, especially knowing the content of his last albums, Argue with a Tree (2005), Foiled (2006) and Approaching Normal (2009) how filled with hate he was during the production of those albums and how far he’s come since then.
The music has changed so much, with the anger seeming to leak out with each honest song. Furstenfeld’s coping mechanisms – while not conventional – seem to be working for the artist. The slick R&B/pop mixture incorporated aid the easy listening and make for a far more enjoyable mixture of sung truths than any of the previous albums written.
The music has progressed unbelievably smoothly into something more than just bitter love songs filled with malicious lyrics aiming to hurt those whom they were written about more so than their actions hurt Furstenfeld originally.
More information about the band can be found at http://www.columbian.com/news/2011/sep/16/blue-october-songwriter/