Blue Tears - The Innocent Ones
AOR Heaven
Melodic Hard Rock
14 songs (50:43)
Release year: 2006
Blue Tears, AOR Heaven
Reviewed by Mike

Blue Tears is back with the follow up to the their self titled debut, entitled The Innocent Ones. I should mention that it has been 16 years since the band's last release. Largely due to fan demand, sole original member Gregg Fulkerson finally decided to record a new Blue Tears album. Gregg is the only member remaining from the 1990 debut album, as he has recruited Bryan Wolski on bass and Robert Streets on drums. Due to the passage of so many years between albums and the complete turnover in personnel, it would be unfair to Gregg to expect an album similar to the debut with this release. Gregg was barely in college when the debut was released, while the other band members were in high school. As expected, The Innocent Ones is a very different album than its predecessor, so it may be best to view this album as coming from a new band. Still, I am very pleased with the lyrics and the music on this album. Even with their debut album, Blue Tears songs are very positive, and often tell a personal story. The same holds true on this album; no changes there. I can always appreciate a rock band (especially one of Blue Tears' era) that can come up with lyrics deeper than screwing, getting plastered, and kicking someone's ass on Saturday night. The music itself is quite a bit different, so more on that…

Like I said, Blue Tears in 2006 sounds almost nothing like Blue Tears of old. Vocalist and mastermind of the band Gregg Fulkerson has always had a Bon Jovi influence in his voice. Nowadays, Gregg sings lower and less nasally than in the past. The end result is a delivery that sounds like 90's Bon Jovi mixed with, surprisingly, Bruce Springsteen. Even from a musical perspective, many of the songs have a rocking Springsteen feel to them. The particular use of the keyboards on this album really reminds of Springsteen material of old. The Keep The Faith / These Days era Bon Jovi mixed with the more rocking side of Bruce Springsteen's older material is an unmistakable trait of all the songs on this album. One exception to this rule is the very Creed like acoustic track All The Way Home. Gregg was part of a band called Attraction 65 that released an album in 2003. Although I haven't heard this album, I've heard that this is a very contemporary rock album with Gregg sounding similar to Scott Stapp. I suppose that era in Gregg's life might be where this song comes from. Honestly, I can't stand Creed, but this song is actually pretty good even if it sounds a bit out of place compared to the rest of the material on the album. The sheer emotion that Gregg sings with on this song is just too much not to appreciate. The next track She Wants to be a Star is my favorite track on the album. This is one track that actually does harken back to the debut Blue Tears album. It's an uplifting rocker with a big chorus line that will get stuck in your mind after the first listen.

I am quite pleased with this album in that most of the material is of the hard rocking variety. The three ballads on this album are actually very solid; and that's coming from someone who gives most ballads the "skip track" treatment. The other 11 tracks on this album are very inspiring hard rock. I really think that fans who have been turned off by Bon Jovi's very modernized sound of late and his excessive use of ballads will appreciate this album. The debut Blue Tears album is often described as a mix of Bon Jovi and Def Leppard. As I said, The Innocent Ones retains a Bon Jovi influence, albeit a 90's version. The Def Leppard tones are gone completely, which means the huge harmony vocals and instantly catchy chorus lines are gone. Still, the songs on this album are very melodic in nature, with catchy chorus lines also to be found on most songs. However, they aren't as over the top, which means this album will take a few listens to appreciate. Once you really give the lyrics a chance and allow the songs to really come to life, you'll surely appreciate this album.

For a 16 year layoff, Gregg Fulkerson has done a great job in serving the Blue Tears name well. Although this album follows a different path than previous material of the band, the songwriting and lyrical content is able to stand on it's own and make this a worthwhile purchase. Die hard fans of the old Blue Tears sound may be disappointed, but fans of up tempo hard rock, particularly in the early 90's Bon Jovi meets classic Springsteen mold will love this album.

Killing Songs :
Drive, Fast Times, In Your Dreams, She Wants To Be a Star
Mike quoted 79 / 100
Other albums by Blue Tears that we have reviewed:
Blue Tears - Mad, Bad, & Dangerous reviewed by Mike and quoted 70 / 100
Blue Tears - Dancin' On The Backstreets reviewed by Mike and quoted 83 / 100
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