Michael Paramo explores the diverse musical styles and influences on The Bleeding Obvious’ self-titled debut album to be released November 17th.
The self-titled debut album of The Bleeding Obvious – a moniker for Yorkshire artist Jessica Rowbottom – is a collection of eclectic tracks that covers a multitude of genres and lyrical themes. There is something new offered on almost every track featured on this intriguing debut project. As Rowbottom explains, “I was heavily influenced by the electronic and orchestral downbeat scene of the 1990s – bands like Saint Etienne, Pet Shop Boys and Swing Out Sister, but as a chorister at Wakefield Cathedral in the 1980s I was exposed to some fantastic musical arrangements and layered sounds which all play a part – it’s a bit of a rabbit-hole of styles.”
The album begins with ‘Splendid!’, an opener that commands your attention with its unique musical arrangement and style. The track incorporates strong electronic influences along with Rowbottom’s soaring vocals. The multitude of musical styles employed here continues to be accentuated throughout the rest of the album, which solidifies ‘Splendid!’ as a strong and fitting album opener. The instrumentals of all these songs were co-produced by her son Ben Rowbottom and collaborator Simon Rowe of synthpop band Berlyn Trilogy. It also features numerous artists and musicians including Ruby Macintosh, Scott Wainwright, Ralph Dartford (A Firm Of Poets), Jacqui Wicks and Anthony Jackson-Stubbs (Paleday).
In regards to themes, the album is similarly varied, lyrically exploring topics relating to the interconnections of humanity, on tracks such as ‘I, Human’, as well as relational love, on tracks such as ‘Put Your Arms Around Me’.These influences shine throughout the album, both in its many conceptual pieces as well as in its more traditional musical arrangements. Through my listening experience, I concluded that The Bleeding Obvious succeeded best when its abstract concepts and pleasurable vocals melded together in an aural splendor. This occurs when Rowbottom’s vocals are given full authority to command the spotlight of the song, exemplified in the standouts of the album, ‘Put Your Arms Around Me’ and ‘You and I (Always Fighting)’. The former shines through with its disco-like influences while the latter succeeds as a soft pop-esque ballad.
Overall, The Bleeding Obvious is an album that may seem a bit unfocused at points due to the immense diversity of musical styles that it utilizes, however, it ultimately emerges as a success due to its sheer uniqueness. It delves into varying styles, but never fails at capturing the essence of any of them. It is an album that takes risks, but they are ones that never feel as though they were not worth taking in the end. This is an exploration into musical and lyrical diversity, and it is one that I urge you to take, for there are moments of pleasure surely to come.
The Bleeding Obvious is set to be released on November 17th. It is available for pre-order from the website at bleedingobvious.uk on limited-edition red vinyl LP, CD, and digital. For more information on the artist, follow The Bleeding Obvious on social media at the following:
Facebook: The Bleeding Obvious
YouTube: The Bleeding Obvious
Follow Michael on Twitter (@Michael_Paramo)