Vertigo Blue Continues His Evolution
Truth be told, Rocks Off just didn't care much for Area 51, the last album by Mike Naus, better known as Vertigo Blue. Frankly, the fault must lie with us, since he was recognized on the Entry List for Nominations for the 50th Annual Grammy Awards with the title track in the Dance category as well as receiving five Revolutions Awards including Best Album (Electronica) in 2009.
Vertigo Blue on Facebook Vertigo Blue live at Numbers, where the Houston-area DJ will open for Peter Murphy Saturday night.
Maybe it was because we felt the album in no way captured Naus's truly dynamic live performance style. You may not believe that one man trapped behind a keyboard with a Vocoder could be as high-energy and physical as a Red Hot Chili Peppers show, but you'd be wrong.
It was our respect for Naus's showmanship that led us to agree to tackle reviewing his newest release, Evolution, an album long delayed due to various health problems Naus has suffered, as well as severe damage to his Galveston home in Hurricane Ike. To our surprise, relief, and delight, Evolution is a phenomenal work.
The album's eight songs tend towards a more light-hearted approach than the darker-themed Area 51. Normally this would count as a negative with us, but here it's absolutely essential to breathing vigor into the often minimalist EBM Naus is performing.
The tracks tend much more towards straight vocalization than the more sample-driven work of old, and you come to discover that there is a pretty talented set of pipes in the big man's throat.
"I am thinking more from Electronica to electro-pop. I definately wanted to go in the direction I went with this album," says Naus.
Electro-pop is a good word, and a fine line to draw in the sand. If you are one of those people who enjoyed the Living in Oblivion compilations that made the rounds, this is a perfect album for you.