Originally, I was going to write a quick post noting that Oh Stereo’s self-titled debut album was available today. Well, it is available today and you can go to ohstereo.com to download it and enjoy some awesome music. The band is letting you choose how much to pay. In fact, through Christmas day, Oh Stereo is letting people pay whatever they want for it, including 0.00, to download Oh Stereo. It’s the same setup that Radiohead had a few years ago.
This post, however, turned from a quick post into an album review.
When I’m writing, I often turn on the songs I’m writing about. So in this case, I went to ohstereo.com and started streaming Anything Everytime as I was starting to write. Waiting For The Sun was my first exposure to Oh Stereo and I was excited to listen to the entire album. As I was finishing the quick post, the last minute of Anything Everytime took off and it had me hooked. I had to listen to the rest of the album. As I continued to listen, I scrapped the quick post and started making notes about the songs and the album.
1. Anything Everytime
3. Speak for Yourself
4. Waiting for the Sun
8. All Again Lost on a Stranger
At the onset, the album seems a little like a simple and straightforward bedroom pop record because of the intro of Anything Everytime. That’s not the case. The electronic rock of the first song builds and it’s as though, Oh Stereo is lulling the listener in before ambushing them with higher concept. It’s a preview, a taste, of where the album’s going. Home, in many ways, is a bridge song that continues the preceding elements and introduces more depth to the record. The depth increases as you continue to listen. They follow up Home by delivering three absolute gems. Speak For Yourself is as fine synth-powered pop as you will hear. Waiting For The Sun has a bit more of the rock edge and simply, is my favorite among an album of favorites. Then there is I-65, which strikes the perfect balance between electronic, experimental, and rock. It’s got a bit of a dubstep sound to it. Intermission is well, an intermission. It includes clear audio from War of the Worlds and gives us a chance to think about the statement Oh Stereo is trying to make. Then, the album launches into the final trio of songs; all of which are at least five minutes long. Night distracts us for a minute from what were trying to figure out is the statement. All Again Lost on a Stranger may be the song that best epitomizes record, having a wide ranging sound as though there’s songs within the song. It also features prominent vocal samples like Intermission. 6 also includes those Orson Welles vocals. They come after the song breaks down and we’re left to wonder what we just heard.
Oh Stereo is a great combination of experimental, electronic, indie, and pop. The band melds the sounds of the recent past with a new direction for the future. Scott Marquart and Mason Hickman are setting their sights high and leave no doubts that they are ambitious. Their ambition and debut album is well received here. All too often, listeners and blogs are looking for the next MGMT. Those searches are all for naught. Sure, a band can have elements of the sound or may remind you for a second, but if that’s what we’re looking for, you missing the music.
In many ways, I feel the same way about Oh Stereo about when I first heard MGMT. The songs and, by extension, the bands are ambitious and shouldn’t be undersold. It isn’t by mistake that the last voice you hear is Orson Welles. The man was an artistic genius that changed radio and cinema. The audio at the end of the album may have been concluding the broadcast of War of the Worlds, but it’s just as apt here. So give the album a listen, it might change the world before your ears.
Their website is the place to download the album and here’s Oh Stereo’s Facebook.
Oh Stereo – Anything Everytime