Ben Gunning Beigy Blur

Instead of letting the implosion of Montreal's Local Rabbits remain the greatest Canadian music tragedy since Remy Shand, Peter Elkas and Ben Gunning quickly decided to forge ahead as solo artists. Elkas wasted no time releasing his impressive solo debut just last year, and now Ben Gunning finally expands on his singular genre hybrids with Beigy Blur. Released on ex-Inbreds drummer Dave Ullrich's internet-only Zunior label, Blur takes off from where he left off on the Rabbits' This Is It Here We Go: writing impeccably crafted pop/rock/R&B/soul, delivered with a clever accessibility and a powerfully dumbfounding falsetto. The record starts off strong, peaking with the infectious FM pop of "Oh Rebel," but noticeably starts to struggle in its second half. "Drinks" and "The Dark Deep Blue" help make the slew of synthetically produced slow-jams easier to handle, but Blur is filled with just enough awkward moments like the ridiculous female choir in "Beauty of God" or the Mario Paint hip-hop production on "We're Not Living," to blunt an otherwise reassuring debut. (Zunior)