Album Review – – “You’re the One” by Chakra Bleu

Editor’s Note: “Underground Nashville” covers artists, authors, musicians, poets, political figures, and other compelling people and happenings not typically covered by the mainstream Nashville media. It also presents reflections and commentary from an underground/indie perspective. As I told ‘The Tennessean’ in 2008, “since moving to Nashville twenty-five years ago, I have met people whose lives do not remotely reflect the caricature of what many outside our city presume to be a ‘Nashvillian’ or the Nashville experience.” “Underground Nashville” thus explores the soul of the city, not its surface—offering “thoughts from the shadows of a great American city.”

Dave Carew

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Album Review by Dave Carew:

“You’re the One” by Chakra Bleu
Produced by Chakra Bleu and David Henry

Ten-Eighty Records

Chakra Bleu.com

Anyone who has ever seen a Chakra Bleu live show knows how it affects you: The vibe of joy, peace, inspiration, and empowerment hangs palpably in the air … and you leave the club somehow feeling better about your world, knowing there is music like this, thoughtfulness and creativity like this.

Much of that vibe is attributable to Chakra Bleu herself, easily one of the kindest, most caring and gracious artists ever to grace a Nashville stage. Luckily for her many fans, “Ms. Bleu” has a gift that extends beyond her own personality, beyond her unique live shows. It also radiates into the albums she has created over the years, beginning with 2000’s superb The Hidden Mirror and culminating, most recently, with You’re the One (released December 2009).

Fans who think they know what a Chakra Bleu album is “all about” may—like this reviewer—be a bit surprised by this album…though certainly not in a bad way. Where previous CB albums concentrated on nurturing both the mind and heart, this work—quite intentionally—tips the scales dramatically toward the heart, with all the joy and hope one’s romantic love for another human being can bring you and that other person. The songs here are lyrically simpler than previous CB efforts—but simple only in the sense that “I love you,” at first blush, may seem like simple words.

Starting with the jaunty, reggae-influenced “More Than Fine” (which your ears will be treated to as soon as you cruise over to Chakrableu.com), the album proceeds to waft its way through a sonic landscape of everything from pop to Americana to “prog rock,” all spinning around the spiritual axis of what “the one”—your heart’s desire, your soul mate—means to you, how he or she affects your life in the moment and in all the moments to follow. A particular stand-out track is “Sunflower of My Dreams,” which Chakra Bleu, in a recent interview with Underground Nashville, called “the under-current of this album, in that the sunflower itself, and its symbolism, became the theme [of the album]. The symbol of the sunflower includes that of hope, success, fulfillment, prosperity, health, devotion, peace, and happiness.”

I could go on and on about how Chakra Bleu’s You’re the One will, in its entirety, help bring YOU those very qualities, but I’d rather step out of the way now, and simply tell you this:  If love is important to you—if you think it’s what matters most—you’ll hear that affirmation profoundly in this first-rate new collection of songs.

David M. (Dave) Carew is editor of “Underground Nashville” and the author of the novels “Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville” and “Voice from the Gutter.” He also is a freelance publicist and copywriter.

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