Scoring a hat trick

FOUR HIT songs, All Rise, Fly By, One Love, and You Make Me Wanna, two albums, and hardly a couple of years in the business -- that's the U.K. pop band, Blue, for you.

With their first album, `All Rise', the band proved that they were different from the other `boy bands'. Their album `One Love', which has some impressive `Rhythm and Blues' (R&B) influences, topped the charts.

Now, the band is all set to release its third album, `Guilty' (EMI Music; Cassette: Rs. 135).

The secret of Blue's success is the fact that their four-member all-male band was slotted into the `boy band' category, where they have forced songs (under the name of `young love' and `sentiments') on listeners.

Though initially bands such as Boyzone, Backstreet Boys and Westlife brought out good albums, they lost their appeal and originality somewhere down the line. Soon, all their tracks began to sound the same.

When people noticed that `Blue' sang songs that were different, they were impressed. It was when `One Love' was released that people were hooked on to the tracks of `Blue'; the album was a chartbuster around the world (The song is still requested in many discotheques around the country). `All Rise' has sold over 1.5 million copies in the U.K. alone.

The album, `All Rise', is at the `No.1' slot in Britain, while `One Love', which is at `No. 3' in the U.S., has bagged the Best Pop Act award at the 2003 Brit Awards.

Their latest album, `Guilty', has 15 tracks, most of which have strong hip-hop and R&B vibes. The first track, Stand Up, has a tune that lingers on in your mind. Stevie Wonder and Angie Stone feature in an interesting track called Signed Sealed and Delivered, I'm Yours. Its multiple `jugalbandi' makes for interesting listening. The title single is slower, compared with their previous hits. Nevertheless, the lyrics compliment the tune (which is a rare feat these days!).

Taste It and Rock The Night would probably be dance-floor favourites.

The lyrics of the anthem-like song, Taste It, which go, Everybody, there is a party going on right here... , are hummable and give an energetic R&B feel to the whole song.

Blue comprises the London-based Duncan James (25), Anthony Costa (21), Lee Ryan (20) and Simon Webbe (25). These youngsters have tasted success right from the beginning of their careers.

Three albums in a span of less than three years -- perhaps, the guys should take a break after this album, if they do not want to feel "guilty" about the quality of their work later.


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