Don’t take this the wrong way, but “Clear Blue” is the kind of album I really didn’t think I’d like. Every song begins with a gentle, crisp and clear acoustic guitar, and Paul Turner’s voice is just left of twee. Yet I found myself unable to hit the skip button. His songs are compelling, fascinating, and artfully composed adventures that end far from where they begin. It’s grunge without the dirty guitar and gravelly voice—every tune is one I can easily imagine being performed by Eddie Vedder or Stone Temple Pilots. Before now, I don’t think I’ve ever heard light rock performed as epic drama.
The guitar work on the instrumental title track, “Clear Blue” is fantastic, gentle and so detailed that it completely envelopes your ears, blocking out all other sound. It’s almost like a classical piece. Other tunes, like “Angels Cry,” soar to stadium size while remaining simple at their core. “City Lights” sounds like a single, in that it feels familiar, but I defy you to think of another artist who has created a song like this. Paul Turner is a true original. I am certain that you’ve never heard anything like this before.