New album from BBB falls short

I’m a huge Balkan Beat Box fan, but I’m forced to concede that their new album, Blue Eyed Black Boy, falls just short of awesome.
War Again, the best track from the album:

For the uninitiated, BBB is the best frenzied folk-world-klezmer-Mediterranean-Balkan-Middle Eastern-hip-hop-etc band out there. Their second release, Nu Med, garnered them a considerable amount of critical acclaim, building on the frenetic beauty of their first eponymous release. Blue Eyed Black Boy, however doesn’t build past Nu Med. It feels basically the same, if a little more pop-y.
The new album has some great horn section and it sounds a little more radio-ready, more polished than previous releases, but to their detriment. The best tracks on the album, War Again and Move It, are catchy enough and totally enjoyable, but there’s a sense that BBB is holding back.
The music still has the implicit Jewishness that the two previous albums had. The band’s lineup is ever-rotating, but it has at times included a whole lot of Israeli MCs as well as Sway Machinery’s chazanut rocker Jeremiah Lockwood. The mish-mash of styles, all from places with historical Jewish communities feels like an extended family album in music.
It’s not a bad album. If you want to get into BBB for the first time, this is fine, but Nu Med is better. And if you liked BBB before, you’ll probably like this too.

2 thoughts on “New album from BBB falls short

  1. Falls short of awesome, maybe? Still a pretty good record though, as you readily admit. At this point I don’t love it as much as the older ones, either, but it’s growing on me. Being that the band has been a steady evolution of both sound and line up(s), I expect artists as gifted as these guys to try new spins on their sound and style.
    The live show is their staple anyway, right?
    And David, if you want more of the old (but different than the first two discs) you must immediately get

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.