Visionary musician Mark Blacknell has released his new full-length record, “Blue Arrow.”
Visionary musician Mark Blacknell has released his new full-length record, “Blue Arrow.” The album is composed of nine tracks over 35 minutes listening time. Blacknell's style of songwriting and performance on “Blue Arrow” is a spiritual successor to the classic rock tones of the sixties, but adds to this a handful of certain elements that belie his personal roots in 1990s culture.
The album opens with the startlingly titled, “Woke Up Alive,” which has stark characteristics of early David Bowie, and introduces Blacknell quite appropriately as a man with groove and confidence in his musical soul that communicates easily and well through both his writing and delivery. This is followed by a somewhat darker track, “Hiding Away,” which contrasts against the more lighthearted tracks on “Blue Arrow” with progressions of minor chords and vocal styles very reminiscent of bands like Stone Temple Pilots and acoustic Nirvana, very powerful in its simplicity and execution.
Tracks three and four return to where Blacknell seems most comfortable (although he never, ever sounds forced – that would seem out of character) and take a Beatles-esque tone from their folk rock period. Blacknell's singing always tends toward John Lennon tonalities, but when waxing folk this gentle attitude courses through him with almost tangible friendliness and feelings of contentment. This is also very evident in his easy rock ballad, “Good Night Cigarette.” Tinges of a slightly more aggressive Blacknell emerge again in “Lonely Sigh,” when he adds a touch of Roy Orbison to his mood. Darker undertones present in “Back to You” cannot be missed. “Blue Arrow” is a work of imbalanced balance, simplicity and complexity – yin and yang.
Here the album makes a fantastically circuitous return to the '90s sound audible in track two (except here in the album's second-to-last song) with “Last Year's Argument Song,” the message, mood, sound and feel of which recall those of the late-nineties indie rock bands such as Built to Spill or Sunny Day Real Estate, very surprising at this stage and undeniably excellent. “Blue Arrow”'s closing number, “Come One,” completes the circle aforementioned by revolving back to that David Bowie style with which the artist first began, thus completing a natural-feeling journey that had some changes in-between, but never really went anywhere except right where it started, only deeper and with added complexity.
Blacknell himself is an advocate of nature conservation and of military veterans, but he sums up his message to music fans with the following words: “You can be an individual if you work hard enough at it. Put in the time, have realistic expectations, and you can create any life you wish. I do what I have to do to earn a living, but earning a living is not my life and never will be. Music, art, writing, meditation… This is me.”
Staff Press Release Writer
The LP “Blue Arrow” is distributed globally by MondoTunes (www.MondoTunes.com) and is available at iTunes for convenient purchase and download
MondoTunes (www.mondotunes.com) supplies the largest music distribution in the world and provides upstream services for many major labels in search of breakout artists. While most independent distributors reach only 45-50 retailers despite charging needless monthly and yearly fees, MondoTunes reaches over 750 retailers and mobile partners in over 100 world regions without any monthly or yearly fees.
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