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Out Her Space


Artist: Karl Blau
Label: Bella Union
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 17 November 2017

Sequestered away in rural bliss, 90 minutes north of Seattle on the Washington state coast, Karl Blau has been making records for 20 years, but never with European distribution... until Bella Union released Introducing Karl Blau in 2016. Whereas that release focused on cover versions drawing mostly on vintage Nashville’s country-soul, Blau's latest album,Out Her Space, features all Blau’s own material... Reintroducing Karl Blau to Europe...

Karl Blau's new release, Out Her Space, showcases the artist's production and multi-instrumental skills, using a melting pot of soul, funk, some jazzy blowing and Afro-pop to deliver something a little different.

While it's a fun and novel release, with much to explore and enjoy, I can't help thinking it's an album that won't see the test of time. It's fine for now... for a few months enjoyment, but I didn't find anything here that would drag me back to it six months to a year from now.

There's a '60s trippy, retro, hippy vibe that shines through in tracks like 'Valley of Sadness', which is poles apart from the opening 'Slow Children'... and I think that's part of this album's problem. Blau throws too much into the mix, reinventing himself with every song. While this should be championed, it also means that the album has no personality and may deter listeners from giving it a chance. It'll need at least a handful of listens to even start to appreciate what has been crafted here, and I can't help thinking most people will be turned away before they've had a chance to soak up the diversity.


Nick Smithson

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