The Learning Days
Blue Blue Satellite

The Learning Days

Disc review

Colin Wen-Jeng Chen (a.k.a. Blue Blue Satellite) may be new to the Ottawa area, but he’s wasted no time dropping his debut LP The Learning Days, mixed, recorded and mastered by well-regarded local producers Dean Watson and Phillip Victor Bova. A classically trained violinist who later turned his attention to learning guitar, mandolin and percussion, Chen brings it all together on this pop outing. Melancholic at times, but also filled with a childlike innocence, Chen’s lyrics underpin rather disparate stylistic leanings. Everything from country vibing on Blues’ll Always Be the Blues to lo-fi electronics and honky tonk on Sister Rachel, Chen makes his musical knowledge and wide-ranging ability evident. Look for welcome vocal additions from Sara Melson and Kristine St. Pierre, but pretty much everything else is all Chen. Quite the one-man accomplishment is The Learning Days, though the sugary atmosphere and soft-focus thematics may irritate some listeners not impressed by the adult contemporary pop efforts.

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Music, Spins