In 2015 Blue Soul Ten released the debut album titled “The Unspoken Warrior”, which was meant to reflect project creator Claye Greene’s approach to living life with bravery and beauty. The album was a blend of Soul, Jazz, World and Hip-Hop, containing collaborations with vocalists and instrumentalists from around the world, and was released through Greenehouse Music, a platform Claye launched to remain independent, as well as leverage his international business experience to drive his music production and writing dreams. Claye simultaneously continued producing and composing music for independent artists.
Now – after the critical acclaim received by his “The Unspoken Warrior” album – Claye Greene, an artist who has been behind the scenes of the music industry for over 20 years, is back with a brand new follow-up album, entitled “The Fearless Warrior” which continues to reflect his philosophy of living life with bravery and beauty. The album is more or less a continuation of the smooth and luxurious sounds found on the previous album, only it moves to a higher level of inner revelation and fulfillment.
For those yet without awareness of this artist, do not fear, his identity can be sought through encounter with his art which, in the circumstances, creates a more intimate bond with the work as opposed to its creator. In the digital age of celebrity, this type of listening experience happens less and less, though when it is possible it is especially intriguing.
This may be the last record Claye Greene could make with this type of unique charm and will due to the especially well regard this record will have surrounding it and the potential successes and attention it will bestow on its creator, although I’m quite aware his earlier works has been exceptionally applauded as well.
Following my initial listen of “The Fearless Warrior”, I was struck by how it had felt like a dream, or like dream language regurgitated from the psyche of a musicologist with intimate knowledge of Jazz, Soul, R&B, futurism, cinema, nature, technology, and street life.
Each individual track is the embryonic symbolization of one hundred influences absorbed from experience into the subconscious of its creator, manifesting to the conscious, or listener, in a musical language that materializes into fully gestated traditional song state for all to behold
From the opening title track “Fearless Warrior” there is imagery ingrained into the shifting soundscapes that refuses to adhere to an identifiable shape, the grooving rhythms merely teasing the listener as it unfurls it’s magic, leading one into a psychedelic calm, and when the saxophone slides in, it as gentle stroke of a companion; the effect is like dusted, hazy light spun in butterfly colors directed at no point of focus and shot through with purple smoke.
“Symbols” is a sketch pad filled with notations of beautiful vocal sweetness that nearly attain a profoundness before breaking into an entirely new but similarly enlightened stream of consciousness so that you never get the full idea but only vague associations resulting in a quite vivid listening experience, driven by a thick robust bass line.
“Blue Moon” will find its way into your bloodstream like a hallucinatory drug, as the flute dances across the shimmering keys of the electric piano and warm whispering pads.
Claye seemed incredibly lucid in terms of emotionally knowing what he wanted to get out of his mixes. The way I tend to rate this kind of ambient soul music is how well a tune conveys a thousand pictures. Stuff that digs deep, goes archetypal, that’s the kind of thing that gets me going.
“Unafraid” is one of those tracks – its real, its gritty, there’s something in it where Blue Soul Ten reaches quite a way deeper into your own mind than most people are used to. Claye Greene aka Blue Ten Soul’s journey through different soundscapes is astounding and, what feels like, one-of-a-kind.
His ability to create a flow through an entire album that goes through so many sounds, voices, instruments and effects that differ in so many aspects is unparalleled by his contemporaries.
The futuristic jazz mixed with sexy trip hop flavors on “Daydream” is intoxicating to say the least – the guitar plucks along with the swooning strings, and the bass thumps, which weave into a heartfelt song. Blue Soul Ten is one of those artists who could typically show up on a Chillout compilation set and be the man that puts the capital C into Chill.
That’s how cool his jazz-soul compositions are. Beautiful melodies and gorgeous sounds drift throughout, creating a sound that is ambient at some moments, groovy in others and then epically cinematic. Undulating streams of relaxed downtempo smoothness unfolds in the beginning of “Rain Dance” before the song opens to soulful vocal and waves of strings and keys.
Each track does for your mind what paintings in a good museum do. Claye creates musical pieces of art wrapped up in each track. By the time you get to the funky “Blue Theme II”, you realize that the entire album is filled with such depth of emotion that you forgot how beautiful the songs themselves are.
Nothing anybody else has done in recent years, except the jazz and fusion master themselves, has the epic scope and compositional aptitude of this gorgeous collection of songs. “The Fearless Warrior” redeems the life of the bored, truculent pop consumer, gives that overloaded brain a vision of a tight, accessible, bountiful outside world.
In this surfeit of corporate modern music with cacophony ringing in every worker’s overloaded cerebrum, Blue Soul Ten makes your environment seem sane and wholesome. This is a far more sweeping and much richer sound than you’re likely to find elsewhere.
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