Album Review: Kyle Cox – Blueprints
Let’s not mince words – this EP by Kyle Cox called Blueprints is going in my personal rotation forever. This is one of the best EPs I’ve ever heard and it’s Kyle Cox’s best to date by far. That’s saying something, too, because we’ve featured him already. His songwriting has matured, his messages are powerful, and his overall sound carries an authenticity that I crave in my listening life. This album is a wonderful new addition for me and should be for you as well.
The opening “Bring Us To Our Best” is about life’s uncertainty. It’s beautifully written with a melody line that is soothing, while not too “sing songy.” The piano and guitar dance together like familiar partners. The full-but-still-acoustic feel of the track accents the deceptively heavy lyrics nicely. “It’s not knowing what comes next…” It seems the song is about doing life with someone special. It sucked me into the album right away.
“When the sun set on you and your dreams; when the moon refuses to shine…. let my love be the spark.” This here is a love song. Officially titled “Let My Love,” it’s about the sweetest romantic track you’ll hear. It’s not cheesy and feels genuine. The stripped down acoustic version really holds attention. Cox’s vocal is raw, yet familiar. He sounds like he’s singing to a lover and doesn’t really care if we listen. That’s totally okay with me, though, and I’m happy to listen. There’s definitely real love somewhere supporting the words and music on this one. Oh and the harmonica part seriously launches the chills on this one.
“I Found Love” is about a broken, stolen heart. “The room’s going cold; it’s getting harder to breathe.” It’s about that feeling of having found love, but it is unrequited. What a feeling! The song conveys the pain and agony of being left behind so well. The very real confession here of substance abuse will no doubt hit many listeners hard. What I love most about the song, though, is the beautiful way in which the minimal instrumentation carries the message. Brilliant.
“You Got That Something” has a nice blues acoustic guitar line and more convincing vocals from Cox. It’s about that allure of a particular girl that he just “can’t get enough of.” Again, capturing a moment in a relationship, or at very least a hoped-for relationship. The harmonica and acoustic guitar work extraordinarily well here. I imagine this is the kind of song Dylan would have written if he came of age in the early 2000s rather than the 60s. I mean that as high praise to Cox’s musicianship, style, and writing on this great little tune.
The acoustic version of “I Ain’t Been Lonely Til I Met You” really works nicely. Using a different recording style, Cox’s attitude-laden rock song comes across here as a desperate and sad love song. I mean that in the best of ways. There’s a way to emphasize the blame on the woman (in the rock version) or emphasize the loneliness (acoustic version). Both are really well written and convincing. His sense of the “darkness” and moving into the “light” is almost spiritual in its earnestness.
This is an excellent album. In full disclosure I do feel like I’ve come to a kind of friendship with Kyle over the past year or so. But part of that is because his music is so accessible that just listening to him makes me feel like we go way back. I encourage you all to allow this album and his previous release to usher you into a similar friendship. He’ll teach you about love and share his heart with you. I can guarantee you’ll find yourself saying, “oh yeah, man, been there” dozens of times throughout the album. And after all, isn’t that the purpose of music?