Rahsaan Patterson | Bleuphoria

How do you intro an album from one of the most respected, eccentric, talented, yet criminally underground artists to make music? He’s worked with your favorite artists favorite artists but something, maybe intentionally, keeps him just under the popular radar. It’s definitely not what you’d expect from someone with his respect and talent. Bleuphoria is the 5th studio album from Rahsaan Patterson who is probably most commercially known for his lead single from his 1997 debt album.

1. I Only Have Eyes For You
We’re a far cry from the Frank Sinatra version or my favorite version by The Flamingos and the Complexions. This song is classic no matter who sings it or how they sing it. Yes, I’m including this version in that as well. Rahsaan’s take is daringly different take on this song is refreshing. You recognize the lyrics when he starts, but it’s when he hits the chorus when you really realize what you’re listening to and it all comes together well.

2. Ghost
Featuring Jody Watley
Not sure how to classify this one. It’s electric, funky, and sounds like some earlier Prince work. It’s not bad, but I don’t know if it’s good or not either. Maybe I’m over-thinking it but I’ve listened to this song more than any other on the album…and I still don’t know how I feel about it or what it’s really about.

3. Crazy (Baby)
Featuring Faith Evans
Rahsaan keeps the funky bassline with him on this song, but adds some annoying tempo based sound that sounds like an alarm clock or something. It doesn’t relent, and it’s high pitched and annoying. I think it will drive you crazy…and maybe that’s the point. For the track to be a bit off the norm, different, and well…crazy? Even though the song speaks about it in a very much more direct way, I’m nearly crazy after hearing this.

4. Easier Said Than Done
Now we’re squarely in the mid 80′s with some synthed out key work and funky tempo…as a matter of fact, it makes me think of music you’d hear on the Beverly Hills Cop trilogy (I just dated myself). This song works for me though. I think the way it picks up around the minute mark wins me over. Song is dope lyrically, title says it all.

5. Stay With Me
This is, so far, the most current song on the album. The melody, presence of drums and sound overall feel really radio ready. I could hear most any of the current artists singing this one and it still being a good song. It’s the most layered and dramatically produced song on the album up to this point and may end up being my favorite on the album.

6. Miss You
I am admittedly biased when singers keep it simple and just sing. Rahsaan has one of the most unique and best voices in the game, so hearing him just do his thing, is really remarkable. So all that stuff about my favorite song I said earlier, forget about it. “Miss You” features a snap, some keys for melody, background harmony, and Rahsaan singing some love drunk lyrics…to perfection. I love this song and it’s now one of my favorite songs by Rahsaan period.

7. Goodbye
I really appreciate when he slows things down a bit and just lets his vocals do the work. The most amazing part of this song is the chorus, it almost seduces you to sway and sing along. The song lyrics almost feel like a funeral didcation. “Goodbye, my friend / till we, meet again / so long, farewell / be strong, angel”. I guess there is a bit of ambiguity in the chorus to leave it open for interpretation, but at 6:45 long it’s the most enjoyable goodbye song I’ve heard in a while.

8. Bleuphoria
Remember in my Jill Scott review I talked about songs where the key is off or melody is a bit tweaked on purpose…this does that too. The chorus is cool, but it’s the actual singing on the verses that are different. I really like the track, but the odd vocal choices on the verses throw me a bit.

9. Mountain Top
We get back to the foundation we were creating with the previous songs (5,6 & 7) with some more funk and great production. “Mountain Top” has a choir singing the background and Rahsaan leading this mantra that is masquerading as a song. I felt like leading an army after hearing this inspirational and powerful song. If you’re feeling down, and need something to lead you forward, this is your song.

10. Makin’ Love
The previous song really should have been the last on the album as the uptempo, electronic vibe of this song feels a bit out of place here. It doesn’t help that at about the 2.5 mark, this song goes schizophrenic and changes to a slowed down, black lights and velvet paintings kind of sound. I’m st gonna go back to the previous song and act like this one didn’t happen.

11. 6 AM
Featuring Lalah Hathaway
Lalah lends her lovely voice to another uptempo song with a nice bassline and tempo. You may have heard this on on the radio as one of the feature singles. It’s a pretty enjoyable song that I can see folks adding to playlists everywhere. As a matter of fact, let me go all the way old school here, this is a Skatejam right here…backwards skaters only! How many of y’all bout that life?

12. Insomnia
I don’t have anything negative to say about this song at all. It’s probably closer to a rock song or something if I was trying to put it in a box, but I love it immensely. I wish this would have been pushed as a single…maybe they will try to break it next. I’d love to hear this live and extended…I need to grab the vinyl just to see if they have an extended version of this.

13. God
…from that we get to this song that I don’t like at all. Techno/house type beat, check. Autotune, check. Audio aura sounds, check. I hate that this is the last song on the album too. SKIP

Bottom Line:
Like most Rahsaan albums, you get a mixed bag. He’s never afraid to experiment and give you something different. When I do track by track reviews, sometimes it detracts from the way you enjoy and hear an album. Track by track, I probably don’t like this album as much as I do when just hearing the album at once.  He’s one of the most eccentric musical talents in the biz so that resonates with his personality quite well actually.  He really hit his stride right in the middle of the album though and the overall feel of the album is a lot better than this review reads track by track. Pick it up

Soulections: “Only Have Eyes for You”, “Stay With Me”, “Miss You”, “Goodbye”, “Insomnia”

8 Comments

  1. Mira says:

    Same thoughts about the bottom line! I’ve been introduced to this album thanks to his single 6AM, I thought the whole LP would sound like this song but actually it’s more experimental but not too much. A pretty well-balanced album between soul-electro-R&B, I like it!
    thanks for the review, track by track is still relevant because I can compare your feelings to mine haha! (I won’t put smileys anymore because it seems like I’m distorting your pages by doing that lol

    • saule wright says:

      HEY MIRA! Yea I think most of his albums are like that, eclectic and varied…I could make maybe 1 long great RP album if I wanted too. Thanks for the comment, I didn’t even think folks checked for it like that. Good point@comparing song notes. I miss ya smileys. I don’t know why this dang on theme does images like that.

  2. Mira says:

    (trying to put another smiley, sorry in advance haha)
    Bleuphoria is really soothing when listened in a big traffic jam! ;)

    • saule wright says:

      I really think that’s the best way to hear this album, just to sit back and enjoy it. Track by track makes this album sound unpretty…it’s a good listen.

  3. sheray dempsey says:

    i think your review is wrong….I dont agree..i guess you have to be a real Rahsaan Patterson Fan to appreciate the arrangements on this Bleuphoria ‘s album and his choice of bacground vocalist that have big names but dont over power the Rah Experriences… Ilike the fact that you took time out to listen but for me it’s a 5out of 5… on these joints…this album can rock at any venue and you would maybe need to be a Dj to say this LIke track 13 has a eurotrance, hotel entrance vibe, and track 3 that you said drives you koo koo for coco pops… has his hip hop influences… and the flow to this alum is sic takes you on a higher deep calling and findings using his obvious Gospel influences…yes i also agree that Rahsaan Patterson has and ear and taste of eklectic sounds but not eccentric..never that..you my friend for a reviewer for music need to look deeper into the artist train of thought and stop comparing contemporary song today that repeat or/and follow…the one thing Rahsaan did offer up is some electronic auotuning which was fly because it was not overt…he is the Underground King undisputed every track is blazing…some tracks grow on you but remain Phyah!!!!

    • saule wright says:

      Thanks for stopping through and it’s cool to read a different opinion. I did note the different influences in the music though, just like you did. I also said eccentric, definition being “unusual” which is DEFINITE and explained with me saying he has a unique sound. I also agreed with the flow of the album as well, so like I said, the way the review reads may sound more negative but that was a track by track which sometimes takes away from the feel of an album, this is one of those cases. Oh, and I’d say read more of my reviews, I don’t, by any means, just compare them to contemporary artists, but this is a business so you have to compare current music with past music. But I definitely thank you for coming through and speaking your opinion, that’s how I grow so I’ll work to make sure I’m not being closed minded.

  4. JMarguerite says:

    I feel bad because I’ve NEVER heard a Rahsaan Patterson album…

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