Blaine Long: Honey In My Coffee

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Title: Honey In My Coffee

Basics: Back to country this week -- thankfully it's not countrified rock about a fictional outlaw.

There is, however, a song about a dog on Blaine Long's record, but we'll get to that later. Allow Blaine's bio, compliments of blainelong.com, to help set the mood for the album: 

"Blaine grew up in Tempe, Arizona and came from a strict Christian upbringing. There's no denying that spirituality can be heard in many of his songs. Not liking high school, he left during his sophomore year only to find out what the real world is like without an education."


Best Song: Album opener "Big Big Love" is a strong offering, but it's the next track "Put It All On Me" which really showcases just what kind of musician Blaine Long is. The song has Long's warbly, John Popper-esque vocals, complete with a light, easy acoustic chord progression that sets the country mood. It's a positive, upbeat song about how Long wants it all on him, if you will, and how he's going to try to save you while being more than a neighbor. It's a painfully simple song, but the execution is very slick.

Worst Song: "Coffee Eyes" is a befuddling little song with an equally odd chorus, "I've always been told there'll be dogs in heaven / Yeah / I've always been told I'll se my dog again." Now, I love my dog as much as the next person loves theirs, but if I were to write a song, I wouldn't necessarily make it about my dead dog. Maybe I'm too dense and I am missing the metaphor with this song, but it sounds, to me, like a song about Long's beloved -- yet dead -- dog. Oh, I guess he liked to refer to his dog as "Coffee Eyes," so that's where that name comes from.

Suggestions: No more dead animal songs. They are sweet, I suppose, at their core, but the harsh reality of it is that they are still songs about dead animals. If I catch some flack for taking such a stance against a song like "Coffe Eyes" -- "Oh, but it's such a sweet song," "How can you be so cynical about something that he loved so dearly?" -- then fine. It's still pretty off-putting, and if you can't admit that then we will just have to agree to disagree. Also, high school isn't all that bad. Long's bio says he dropped out, but it makes no mention of if he ever got his GED.

Grade: C

If you're a musician from the Phoenix metro area and would like to have your music reviewed in You Asked For It (our first-come, first-served and often harsh record review column) please send it in an envelope marked "YAFI" to:

Michael Lopez
You Asked For It
c/o Phoenix New Times
1201 E. Jefferson Street Phoenix , AZ 85034

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