I Mother Earth

Blue Green Orange

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I Mother Earth's third record is notable for being their first with new vocalist Brian Byrne taking over for longtime frontman Edwin, but since brothers and primary songwriters Jagori and Christian Tanna remain the creative force behind the group, Blue Green Orange will feel familiar to longtime fans. The quartet is more musically adventurous than their '90s Canadian alternative rock counterparts, and Blue Green Orange places a greater emphasis on extended instrumental sections and complex arrangements -- something the band would explore further on their next album, The Quicksilver Meat Dream. Less restricted by former vocalist Edwin's diverging creative input, the Tanna brothers have distanced themselves from post-grunge and delved into spatial jam rock territory. The increased use of African percussion on "All Awake" and the Santana-esque epic "Summertime in the Void" show off their impressive musical chops (especially the understated bass playing of Bruce Gordon), although their propensity for long pieces has somewhat dulled the visceral edge found in the Edwin incarnation of the group. Edwin may have also been the main proponent of more compact, pop-driven singles, since there isn't an obvious rock radio single among the album's 11 compositions. The only exception is the out-of-place rock ballad "When Did You Get Back from Mars?" which is the one instance where the hoarse-throated Byrne gets first billing.

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