Bleu - Four

To make his fine new album Four, retro-rock singer/songwriter Bleu turned to his fans, raising $40,000 to record, master and release this week another installment of what we've called "big melodies strapped firmly to blustery and majestic pomp... sweetness along with a devastatingly accurate punch." The successor to 2009's frisky A Watched Pot, the slightly darker Four further expands the Bostonian's remarkable ability to channel Jeff Lynne, Lennon and McCartney and 10CC into a modern stew of grand, densely layered 70's-styled songs that recall an era when pop and rock could be referenced in the same breath. "I made this record just for me and them," he says of the new project and his generous fan backers. "I just want to take more chances and make them – and me – happy."

Not many writers could turn a topic like "Dead In the Morning" into a raucous rave up rocker of epic "I Can't Turn You Loose" proportions and that celebratory attitude can be found throughout Four, from the anthemic salute to his home town "B.O.S.T.O.N." to the literally breathless propulsive drive of the magnificent "I'll Know It When I See It." Bleu slows things down here and there, most notably on the six minute plus "Ya Catch More Flies With Honey", but the mood is contagiously upbeat, the result perhaps of an artist aware and thankful for his fans' support. "It's changed my whole world," he says. "I have a completely new outlook on my career and my life. It sounds dramatic, but it's really true."

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Bleu - "I'll Know It When I See It" (from the album Four)

Bleu - "Ya Catch More Flies With Honey" (from the album Four)