Significance, the debut album from Blueburst, is a bit of an anomaly in a couple of ways. First, in a world of slick, overproduced music, Blueburst eschews digital manipulation and embraces retro, old-wave influences.
Blueburst explains, “Most of my friends, and a lot of younger people as well, are still listening to the albums we grew up with because there’s a rawness and honesty in that music. That authenticity is what we’ve aspired to capture here.”
Second, Blueburst is the musical project of Craig Douglas Miller, who is 50 years old and, as he says, “wasted 20+ years doubting myself and not finishing any music.”
Back in the day, the ’90s, Miller was part of a band, The Reach, that kind of almost made it big – major labels were sniffing around. It didn’t pan out, and Miller put himself on a shelf composed of depression, writer’s block, and, according to Miller, “perhaps a few too many gins and tonics.”
Enter Marty Willson-Piper of The Church, who inspired Miller to begin creating and releasing music again as Blueburst, a name taken from the finish on Miller’s favorite guitar.
Along with Miller and Wilson-Piper, musicians on the album include drummers Michael Jerome and Brian Platt, Ryan Kelly (bass), and Riley Schatz (vocals).
Entry points on the nine-track album (plus two bonus tracks) include the opener, “Vanish,” which rolls out on R.E.M.-like guitars riding a pushing rhythm topped by evocative vocals. There’s a delicious psychedelic-lite feel to the track, harking back to the good old days.
Reminiscent of CSN&Y blended with early Dan Fogelberg, “Executioner’s Song” features platinum, gleaming guitars and dreamy vocals. A dazzling yet carefully structured guitar solo infuses the tune with hints of throwback SoCal soft rock savors.
Blueburst’s cover of Rush’s underrated song, “Bravado,” merges dark guitars and a luminous topline into a thrumming version of the original, at once dramatic and imposing.
Shimmering with elegant colors, “Finito” closes the album with drifting textures, forming a nostalgic love song of thoughtful beauty.
Coated in glistening guitar surfaces that give the songs a bewitching translucence, Significance evokes an irresistible sonic splendor.
Significance Track Listing:
2. Executioner’s Song
5. Kick My Tires
7. Amplify Me
8. Come Alive
10. Train in Vain (Bonus Track)
11. Senseless (Acoustic Mix) [Bonus Track]
Run Time: 52:14
Release Date: October 20, 2023
Record Label: In Deep