SINGLE REVIEW: The Color Blue by Bo Baskoro

“The Color Blue” boasts the typical robust production and cinematic scope for Bo Baskoro’s music. The Portland-based singer/songwriter has amassed a growing fanbase thanks to those aforementioned qualities and each new release seems to further refine his art. “The Color Blue” has an effervescent quality, a light touch in the heart of its sonic swirl that sweeps listeners away into a dream-like state. The song has a near-chromatic effect making it worthy of its title. In my mind, as I hear the song, it is awash in shades of blue, gold, and white. The center of Baskoro’s latest single is, of course, his lead vocal and he manifests the same quasi-ethereal touch present in the music.

It is specifically his sensitive phrasing that gently carries us into the song’s world. It complements the song’s instrumentation as well thanks, in part, to an exceptional mix. There’s never any sense of his voice competing with the arrangement. The production applies generous echo over Baskoro’s voice, as well, and this further accentuates the song’s theatrical tendencies. I hear a lot of soulfulness in his singing, as well, not in an R&B style per se, but instead more of a far-reaching commitment to conveying the song’s emotion.

The music is largely pre-programmed or electronic. Its mix of synthesizers, drum machines, and electronically treated guitar has a warm sound, nonetheless. Another strong suit of the production is the instrumental separation. There’s a lot going on during “The Color Blue” without any of it ever threatening to overwhelm listeners; many of the synthesizer passages stand out for listeners and the guitar cuts through the other instruments like a sharp blade.

His mastery of dynamics adds more dimensions to “The Color Blue”. A rising and falling trajectory governs the new single and Baskoro orchestrates it with spot-on precision. This precision doesn’t drain it of its spontaneous feeling, however. It sounds like an outpouring from the heart rather than a mere performance and this aspect of the song lends it to repeated listens.

It doesn’t ask much out of listeners despite its considerable activity. “The Color Blue” doesn’t prattle on too long, but it isn’t a reflection of Baskoro’s opinion about the listener’s attention span. The song simply says what he needs to say. Baskoro rejects the sort of self-indulgence we commonly associate with this style of music and, instead, demonstrates the craftsmanship and focus all great performers share.

It’s a wonderful track, particularly this year. We need escapist fare, songs that take us away from our worries, and comfort us with its musical virtues. “The Color Blue” may operate in a long-time tradition, that’s true, but it sounds thoroughly modern from its first note to last. Bo Baskoro has the kind of talent that seems built from posterity rather than soon forgotten and shows no signs of upward climb slowing down. Many listeners will be inspired by the unbridled and infectious passion he communicates throughout the song; they are hallmarks of his style guaranteed to appeal to a wide audience. 

Jennifer Munoz

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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