FacesPale Blue Jak is the brand name that was created to express a new form of music that is unconventional, energetic, charismatic and very quirky. If you never read his blog on http://www.neilbyrnemusic.com/2011/10/pale-blue-jak/, you'd never know that Neil Byrne of Celtic Thunder fame and Pale Blue Jak are one in the same.
It's not really a name one might think would be in the same category of musicality as Madonna, Lady Gaga or even Adele. He is truly a unique character. His songs are as varied as are the tempos. One song on Pale Blue Jak's album Faces can be found on Neil Byrne's Sensitive Souls Ep. Sadie Jones is quickly becoming a popular lady that many female fan would love to trade places with, if even for a moment. Here is the video from YouTube so you can decide if you'd like to be Sadie for a day, month, or year. http://youtu.be/OIsg8KKwrcw
This is not your A typical pop album you might get from any random artist. This Cd was put together with a lot of thought into what would not only please the listener but the artist as well. When you listen to the album in its entirety you can really get a sense that this wasn't just thrown together but carefully crafted. Each song shares a common thread that is carefully woven into a fine silk tapestry.
This album will excite your visual taste buds. Every character is unique with his/her own style. It is not hard to imagine what a video for any of the 13 tracks might look like. Its as if this album is a part of a bigger picture or maybe a larger compilation of music.
I was really impressed by the quality of the music on this Cd, not only did I find myself tapping my toes but dancing about the house. I don't own a lot of albums simply because there aren't generally enough tracks to warrant making a purchase that big. I generally only like a couple songs on a particular album but that is not the case with Faces. I love every song. I guess I'm a bit biased but I think I know what good music is when I hear it. I am a fan of Madonna, Lady Gaga and Adele but I don't think I'd ever purchase one of their albums simply because there's only maybe one or two songs I really like on any one Cd.
Faces was released on Oct. 14, 2011. It is definitely a favorite of mine as well as many other Thunderheads. We know him as Neil Byrne but with the release of his debut solo Cd he's has become the personification of Pale Blue Jak. This album is nothing like his Ep Sensitive Souls cause there are more characters to fall in love with as well as more interesting stories to be told this time around.
The first track on the album is "Captain Lane", who comes and goes in the blink of an eye. This character is unlike any I can imagine but he may come close to Captain Morgan in "Two Pina Coladas" by Garth Brooks. Captian Lane is the alter ego for the shy guy but he's only interested in one night stands. One day the guy finds a girl he likes, someone he'd like to see more of but she ends up pulling a Captain Lane on him, leaving before he wakes. The moral of this song is you'll never be able to find true love as long as you rely on Captain Lane to help you out. Here is a sneak peek at Captain Lane with Neil Byrne and Declan O'Donoghue. http://youtu.be/ct5CWzKLJf8
Second track is "Pale Blue Jak," usually the title of the Cd is one of the tracks on the album but I guess that Neil wanted to change things up a bit by creating a track for the brand name. This track is very upbeat and uptempo. When you listen to this song you'll find yourself taping your foot as well as dancing about the room. After listening to this song a few dozen times I see that Pale Blue Jak is a DJ/VJ at a local radio/TV station and a singer is asking him to play their Cd again. The song kinda reminds me of "Music" by Madonna. In that song Madonna is asking the DJ to put on a record to dance to. In "Music" the DJ is at a club where as in "Pale Blue Jak" the DJ/VJ at a radio/TV station. He mentions going from the TV to the radio which means he does a live music show on television maybe something like American Bandstand.
The third track on the album is "Grenade" which was originally recorded by Bruno Mars. Track number seven, "Mr Blue Sky" was recorded first by Electric Light Orchestra and track 10, "Let Em In" was recorded by Paul McCartney. These are the only tracks recorded by other artists prior to them appearing on this album. Even though these three tracks that were originally recorded by someone else before, I think that Neil put his special touch on them, to make them in a way his own. The other ten tracks are all originals which is great to see on an album of this caliber.
Upon further research into this debut solo album by Neil Byrne a.k.a. Pale Blue Jak, I've found that you never know what this guy is thinking. He isn't into really depressing or sad songs which are usually steeped in country music but then again there are songs like "Candlestick" and "A Life I Once Had" which causes you to take a step back and rethink the meaning of those songs. These are the kind of songs that have an air of perplexity about them, they are the songs that make you wonder what was he thinking. I think you'll find quite a few songs that will cause you to have that reaction which is a good thing, I think.
I don't really want to give away too much of this album because the whole point to this blog is to get you interested enough to buy it. The one major flaw in that argument is that it isn't available at any retail stores just yet but can only be acquired online either by purchasing the physical album itself or by downloading it directly to your computer. I found that Amazon is definitely the best place to either purchase the CD or download all 13 tracks. It will cost you $17.44 for the actual Cd or $8.99 for the download at Amazon. There are other options at Amazon if you want to buy the tangible product but downloading seems to be the most economical option available. It's also available for download on iTunes for $9.99. You can download it at eMusic.com for $5.99 when you become a member. It can also be purchased through Neil's website in the CDs and Limited Edition items with free postage to anywhere in the world. http://www.neilbyrnemusic.com/limited-edition/
Before I end this post I need to thank those who gave me the inspiration to write such eloquent words that I am overwhelmed and somewhat speechless every time I read it. I know I've already got three other posts under my new name but this one just feels different. Maybe I have a greater connection to this music. I'm not really sure but I feel like this is my maiden post, my baby. It's taken a little longer than I thought to finish this post about Pale Blue Jak - Faces but I definitely think it is worth the wait.
I need to thank everyone from the Listening Lounge for Neil Byrne's Fans on Facebook, CT Fans as well as anyone who helped me during my hour of need. I'd also like to thank everyone that contributed to this album, those whose talent has made this one terrific CD to listen to. I'd also like to thank those people who have always supported Neil.