Review - Blue Rodeo, Small Miracles [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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10-02-2007, 08:43 AM
My first reaction to this disk was “meh”. As I continue to spin it, I find that I have mixed reactions.

If you are only a recent Blue Rodeo fan mostly familiar with their recent shift to AOR then you will likely view this is a very good album. The songs are “nice”. The production quality is still sorely lacking, but is an improvement over their last few disks of which one is completely unlistenable IMO.

The opening track, So Far Away, is far too reminiscent of Dire Straits. It’s more than the sharing of the main lyric “so far away from me”. The tune surrounding this lyric is close enough, in my mind, that a law suit wouldn’t surprise me.

While I’m not a fan of Greg Keeler’s voice, I can always count on him to add an edge to a Blue Rodeo disk. But he doesn’t deliver here. The closest he gets to straying from the formula is a little jazzy number called Together. A smokey little song that does more to enforce that AOR feel than leave the impression that he’s trying to do something different.

As much as I count on Greg to rock out, I count on Jim Cuddy to leave me with one ballad that makes me melt. This disk doesn’t deliver for me in that department either. The closest I get is the last track. Which, I suspect, could have been added on as a bonus track and just not labeled as such. Why do I say that? Well…because it’s the exact same song as the fourth track!

Track four is called 3 Hours Away. Track 13 is called Where I Was Before. They are the same song. 3 Hours Away is a little upbeat number recorded with the full band and uses guitar as the main instrument. Where I Was Before is Cuddy and a piano and is the closest thing on the CD to that lovely ballad that I’m looking for. It is very interesting to hear how the same lyric and melody can be recorded so differently. I love hearing this kind of stuff so I have to say that it was a cool surprise when I listened to the CD for the first time through and thought, “hey, I think I’ve heard this before” when I got to the last track.

Admittedly, I’m a huge BR fan and I’ve set the bar pretty high for them. So, while I ramble on about all the disappointments for me on this disk, the bottom line is this…

While I view Small Miracles as one of the more mediocre disks (possibly the MOST mediocre disk) in the Blue Rodeo catalogue, it’s still a solid album that any other AOR artist should be proud of. Just not up to BR standards in my book. Maybe their next CD will be a rocker…one can only hope.