Blue Soul Ten
The Beautiful Warrior
Claye Greene, the local brain and brawn behind Blue Soul Ten, created The Beautiful Warrior as the third in a trilogy of albums, beginning with The Unspoken Warrior and The Fearless Warrior. The Unspoken Warrior had more of a lounge feel; The Fearless Warrior polished the edges and created buttery R&B begging to be bumped through car speakers.
The last work in the trilogy, The Beautiful Warrior, is a much more emotional and aching release. It begins with found audio from a classic film, before sliding into the grooving, smooth R&B instrumentals that mark Blue Soul Ten’s expected sound. The first three tracks are much dancier than the rest of the album. After that, the rest of The Beautiful Warrior gives itself over to down-tempo tracks, underscored by romance and heartache, but which are still smooth and relaxing.
The breathy, female vocals on “Here I Am” accentuate the song’s air of vulnerability, and complement its subtle saxophone work. Vulnerable is something that Blue Soul Ten does brilliantly, as on the pop-tinged R&B number “Try,” which includes harp and melancholic harmonies.
“Silly Me” drips with heartbreak — its subtle guitar riffs and almost-grimy synth underbelly showing the soft, sad tone of Greene’s more emotive songwriting. No song expresses this theme as strongly as “Rain Fall,” a simple song, which weaves together the sound of a thunderstorm, reserved piano and horn riffs, and leaves its whispering vocals feeling particularly exposed.