Monday, April 11, 2011
Blue Nile - A Walk Across the Rooftops
Until this past weekend, I had never heard this album. However, this album was on the 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die list so I sought it out online to see what I thought of it.
Side one opens with the title track. “A Walk Across the Rooftops” has a melancholy feel to it. I get the imagery of a very late at night/pre-dawn time of reflection, up above the sleeping city below.
“Tinseltown in the Rain” has a little more movement to the music, but it too has a sense of regret to it as a love comes to an end. It is a beautiful sounding song though.
“From Rags to Riches” has an interesting synthesizer-drum rhythm to it. I like the vocals on this one.
I can say the same thing for the next track “Stay” which opens side two.
“Easter Parade” slows things down again. The band clearly know what works for them - solid piano arrangements and soul-exploring vocals.
“Heatwave” provides another example of the amazing sounds these guys can produce with synthesizers. The music has complex elements to it - almost sounding like exotic instruments. But it is all produced with amazing results.
“Automobile Noise” closes the record on a slower note. As the beginning did, I get the feeling of a late night alone with the sounds of the occasional passing cars cutting through the stormy darkness.
If I had ever heard any of the tracks from A Walk Across the Rooftops, it was likely on some alternative radio station at the college, and the songs never really registered with me. As for Blue Nile as a group, I have one song in my library from their 1996 album Peace At Last - until today I never knew they got their start in the 80’s.
Overall, I have to say I found this a pleasant listen. The record has a more gentle synth-pop sound that is easy on the ears. It is the type of music that quietly demands you sit and give it a listen.