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London-based lads Duncan James, Antony Costa, Lee Ryan, and Simon Webbe that make Blue, have come a long way since their first release in May 2001. Two albums and umpteen music awards later, Blue are officially one of the biggest pop acts, not only in India, but all over the world.

Their albums have a mushy feeling all over, making them possibly just another R&B/Pop band doing a good job of creating smooth harmonies on their albums.

The title track from their debut, All Rise, their first ever single released in May 2001 debuted to Number 4, is easily the track that stands out with its lilting rhythm and tempo. Those who have sampled the album will definitely agree that the tracks are peppy, entertaining and very appealing to the younger college-going kid.

Talk about dance floor magnetism, and you can be sure that Blue has some surefire hits in their pop and R&B albums. Their third offering, Guilty, is a confident collection of R&B/pop tracks featuring some of the best songwriters and producers. Their styles have not changed. The boys show their vocal maturity on the new album right through.

The Record got an exclusive with all four lads. Excerpts:

The Record: Can you tell us something about your new album?
Duncan James: We released Guilty as the third album and itís also the first single. The album has a wide spectrum of songs, which comes from everywhere. The title song is a ballad, a classic ballad; itís got a good melody thatís catchy and equally infectious. I think people really didnít expect us to come up with something like that, and I think thatís good, for it keeps people guessing what weíre upto and what weíre doing next. Not many wouldíve recognised us immediately - only those who are used to our music and so after we released one single from the album, we then thought about the second single and then all people stand up and say hey, thatís Blue.

TR: Whatís so special about this new album compared to the others?
Lee Ryan: This album is quite different, as itís got a real flavour to it. Itís like us taking a step up. Weíre not going totally changing the way we were, and weíre not changing with the business and things like that. And yes we do have a remix, which is slightly changed.
Antony Costa: The second album is different from the first album. The first album was a little more Motown and soulful, while the second was more hip-hoppy, R&B. This new albumís got a rock feel to it, cause weíve got so many influences in it. We thought that hey, why should we limit ourselves? Our influences are so wide, we thought letís use it.
Simon Webbe: Itís a nice to try different styles and a lot of new stuff. The first album had some Motown, the second we did some dancing and we did a new kind of feel and made it slightly more rock-based in the third. Itís not heavy, but our band started using a lot of guitar and so when we went on tour we got into a kind of rock Ďn roll jig. So this album is like a progression and it has got more guitars and stuff like that. So we just thought about using some guitar-based tracks and see what happens, and oh, its come out just great and sounds real good. A lot of my friends say itís like Radiohead and I like them and itís just perfect. I like Radiohead.

You can read the rest of our exclusive interview with Blue in the February 2004 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.

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