`Spinning The Truth Around (Part 1)`is Blue October`s eleventh studio album released this month with `Spinning The Truth Around (Part 2)` due out next spring. The bulk of both albums were written during the worldwide covid lockdown.

The album opens with `Spinning The Truth Around`, a mid-paced melodic tale of a relationship that has hit a bit of a stale patch but both participants feel it`s worth working through. Justin Furstenfeld has a delightful tone to his vocals throughout this track which fades out with quietly shared piano keys. There`s a more ethereal feel to `The Shape Of Your Heart` which has a breathy vocal delivery that makes the number at times feel quite dreamy but also gives it a slight edge. The track is underpinned with a rolling drumbeat and a kind of recurring string arrangement.

`How Can You Love Me If You Don’t Even Like Me` is fairly expansive and has a sort of jazz like late night ambience. There`s some orchestrated strings sprinkled through and lyrics that are almost rapped atop. We have some imploring vocals during `Don’t Say It Wasn’t Love` which is a stadium like ballad that Blue October really excel in producing. The song ends with some quietly shared introspective piano keys.

`Change` begins with a fairly assertive R & B rhythm and seems to roll along with a soulful texture with lyrics that were a little strange. I felt that `Where Did You Go I’m Less Of A Mess These Days` was a bit of a throwaway number but worked so well. There`s strummed guitar and sweet vocals on this simple but affectionate musing.

The instrumental `The Kitchen Drawer` is a dreamy aural soundscape that builds and fades as we journey through it. There were some fuzzy vocals midway but they were petty  incomprehensible and felt like a distraction. We have an oddly introspective nigh on spoken word ballad like contemplation with `When Love Isn’t Good Enough` relating a seemingly unsatisfactory relationship. An operatic oration joins at the midpoint and takes us on an interesting cultural detour for the remainder of the number.

`Trust You` is a mesmeric synth like outing with vocals that sound at time like they are shared through a kind of vocoder or vocal modulator. A pounding drum beat leads us into `The Girl Who Stole My Heart` which is a ballad like emotional love oration.

`Shut Up I Want You To Love Me Back` is an anthemic piece which allows the singer to demonstrate the dexterity of his vocal range. This release closes out with `Big Love` a pop rock melodic sing a long number. A song that`s made for a live outing.

Blue October have enjoyed a pretty stable line up for the last few years with Justin Furstenfeld (lead vocals, guitar), Jeremy Furstenfeld (drums, backing vocals), Ryan Delahoussaye (violin, mandolin, guitar, keyboard, backing vocals), Matt Noveskey (bass, backing vocals) and Will Knaak (lead guitar, backing vocals) and this shines through on this latest submission.

The band have a wonderful asset with Justin Furstenfeld and his remarkable vocal flair but this talented group of musicians know how to accentuate the best of his abilities.

`Spinning The Truth Around (Part 1)` needs a few listens before it really takes hold of you and I’d urge you to set that time aside.

Rating 8.5/10

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