How many times have you walked down the street with the wrong song bursting through those pricey headphones? Have you ever lusted after that one perfect tune to add some much-needed pep to your step? Clear today’s to-do’s as the groovy tunes of Blue Temptation are sure to make your feet refuse your shoes. Ever since their formation in 2014, the Shillong-based outfit has cruised through with their smooth tunes causing quite a ruse in the blues scene. The core trio consists of Shepherd Najiar, Greg Nongrum and Nathan Nongrum.
After a bevy of singles, the band made a splash with its debut, Tempted. The opening and title track spares no breakthroughs as the smooth lead guitar slips and slides over a slick bass line. Charm and charisma ooze from the carefully construed lyrics which spew cautionary tales about giving into one’s temptations and primal instincts. With ‘Sweetly Bitter’, we see the band striving to continue to infuse the sound with twisty and unpredictable tunes to keep our ears glued.
The album refuses to let innovation recuse itself from the driving essence of the music with ‘Good Days’. The track’s use of grandiose instrumentation and contrasting underuse of lyrical intricacy crafts a chateau of raw emotions to lose yourself within. The 70s classic rock inspired guitar solo suffuses over the sleek bass-drum duo. However, the intimate lyrics followed by the solo structure is hardly news at this point, especially with ‘Never Really Know’. The track features a dreamy sheen as it slows down before grinding to a halt. The track evokes impulses of taking a long cruise in a canoe, all the while resorting to tissues for your issues. ‘Blessing’ is another track which continues to enthuse with upbeat instrumentation albeit strewn with conventional and sometimes cliche’ lyrics.
‘Made Me’ is practically tattooed with old-school rhythm and blues. Although overcome with fatigue, your feet and fingers refuse to cease their incessant tapping and clapping due to the hard-hitting grooves. The guitar solo makes the track even more special. In the final moments before the album’s inevitable end, ‘Wash Your Sins’ disabuses convention with a near-perfect fusion of rock ‘n’ roll and jazz. The track, with its tight and temperamental instrumentation, is a perfect excuse for the band members to show off their virtuosity. The album concludes like a neo-noir cigarette that has just been doused, with the fumes rising up and above the light and into the shadows.
As far as overviews go, the soundscape is familiar and paradoxically new and novel at the same time. Blue Temptation does not pander to the listeners and is seemingly not myopically interested in their revenues.