Dusted Reviews

Blue Magic - Thirteen Blue Magic Lane

today features
reviews charts
labels writers
info donate

Search by Artist

Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Dusted

email address

Recent Reviews

Dusted Reviews

Artist: Blue Magic

Album: Thirteen Blue Magic Lane

Label: Collectables

Review date: Feb. 19, 2006

Blue Magic has long been a presence on certain compilations of “slow jams,” the kind I flipped through but didn’t buy when I got sick of being a music director at a college radio station and made a conscious retreat outta “indie rock” and into “’70s soul.” I always did like Isaac Hayes and late-period His Name Is Alive, and it seemed like a welcoming genre. All these slow-jam compilations had pictures of panties or bare skin and suggested people fucking, like that was the main reason this music existed - so you could put it on and it would be obvious you wanted to fuck. Such music was something I could get behind.

But the good songs on Thirteen Blue Magic Lane (an album with a cheesy unifying theme having something to do with witchcraft that doesn’t merit deconstruction) are about pining, devastating, righteous loss. If you're like most people, it (this music) is more about the fucking you used to do or wish you’d have done. Take this from the heartbreaking “The Loneliest House on the Block”: “I introduced you to a friend / Then our love came to an end / I’m left in a place that we call love / Folks know that I give up on love / In / The loneliest house on the block / Where the windows are closed / And the doors are always locked.”

This stuff endures to remind us that, if we want to love so it counts, we must consider the outpouring of tenderness and honor we feel when we lose. We're losing all the time, and soon enough we'll lose this love or we'll die or probably both. But we can love with the same feral fervor with which we hurt when we lose. We can love 'til we hurt ourselves. The emotions of the best Blue Magic are as complex as its dense, gooey production.

Otherwise, you’ll get stuck in “I Like You,” or the filler that dominates the album’s second half, and that ain’t no way to be. This album has a lot of filler. But “The Loneliest House on the Block” and “Chasing Rainbows” can teach an important lesson. About life. And fucking. And soul.

By Emerson Dameron

Read More

View all articles by Emerson Dameron

Find out more about Collectables

©2002-2011 Dusted Magazine. All Rights Reserved.