Skip to main content
Loading...

Featured Post

Game Of Thrones Season 8 - End Game With Sinhala Subtitles

Flipboard

Flipboard

Cullen Omori - The Diet Music Album Reviews

The former Smith Westerns member’s second album represents a return to his core strengths: crystalline, cosmically ornate melodies and wryly clear-eyed lyrics.

Cullen Omori figured his shit out quickly. The difference between those first two Smith Westerns albums—the no-fi garage-pop slop of 2009’s self-titled effort versus with the widescreen glam of 2011’s Dye It Blonde—felt like more than a just a typical case of a young band making a dramatic leap to avoid the sophomore slump. It was more a like a detuned TV suddenly being kicked into sharp focus: The surface fuzz fell away, revealing the craft and confidence that was always there.

On Dye It Blonde, we caught our first glimpse of Omori in his natural habitat: a never-ending summer of ’73 soundtracked by Marc Bolan’s saddest songs and George Harrison’s sweetest licks. And as we’ve seen in everything he’s released since, it’s a place he’s never wanted to leave. Sure, the Smith Westerns’ 2013 swan song, Soft Will, upped the prog factor, while Omori’s 2016 solo debut, New Misery, added some modernist pop touches, but he’s remained comfortably floating at the same cruising altitude.

These days, Omori is seemingly drawn to albums like All Things Must Pass and The Slider for more than just their magical melodies and tasty guitar tones. In the early 1970s, those records formed the collective soundtrack to the post-hippie hangover, their dreamily strung-out quality reflecting the mindset of a new generation that felt like it had missed the party and was left to clean up the mess. It’s a deeply disillusioned feeling to which Omori could no doubt relate in the wake of the Smith Westerns’ unceremonious demise: In interviews, the singer-guitarist has been more candid than most about the indignities of being a former indie-rock darling forced to return to day-job drudgery.

But he’s also been able to make the most of his mundane circumstances—he claims New Misery was inspired by the Top 40 pop music he heard piped into the hospital where he spent his days cleaning medical supplies. Hospitals also factor into The Diet’s origin story, in which Omori found himself seeking medical attention—for getting clean, if not for the subsequent existential crisis. “I was sitting in a hospital detox center facing out on Lake Michigan in Chicago,” he recounts, “and literally just a few miles south, Lollapalooza, an event I’ve played twice and had many peers at, was happening without me.” The Diet isn’t the sort of world-beating, over-the-top comeback effort that’s going to transform Omori into the king of Grant Park (especially at a time when even Jack White is struggling to justify his headliner status). But it’s the most consistently satisfying front-to-back record Omori’s been a part of since Dye It Blonde, a reset that realigns him with his core strengths—namely, his flair for crafting songs that are cosmically ornate yet humbly down-to-earth.

You can hear the rebirth process kick in during the opening seconds of “Four Years,” where the song’s melancholic guitar chime bubbles up from an oceanic swirl to face the bright rays of the sun, as if Omori were emerging from some sort of soul-cleansing ritual. It also feels like an effort to shake off the glossy embellishments that proved to be distractions on New Misery. Under the guidance of LA-based producer Taylor Locke, “Four Years,” and the 11 songs that follow, place the focus where it should be: on the tension between Omori’s crystalline, clear-eyed melodies and his stinging, self-effacing lyricism. As it coasts to its swooning chorus, “Four Years” reveals itself to be an ebullient declaration of devotion from someone easily driven to distraction: “You do so many things, and I love you for it,” Omori sings in helium harmony with himself, before adding: “but I usually forget.”

Ten years into the game, Omori has essentially graduated from the garage to the kitchen, playing fly-on-the-wall to domestic lives, or dreaming of the one he could’ve had: “All by Yourself” is a wistful acoustic requiem for the one who got away—and the new baby in her life that all but extinguishes any possibility of future rekindling. But even the album’s purest expressions of contentment are laced with a sardonic aftertaste—“Happiness Reigns” might be the most joyful, carefree pop song in the Omori canon since Dye It Blonde’s “Weekend,” but it’s still one where the giddy kids he imagines for himself and his partner frolic among “flowers of uranium.”

The Diet would benefit from more breezily subversive sing-alongs like that—as the album rolls on, Omori’s predilection for mid-tempo, mid-period Oasis starts to take over, and a certain uniformity of style, scale, and seriousness sets in. (One great exception is “Millennial Geishas,” which finds the half-Japanese Omori cheekily riffing on Asian stereotypes—“I want to enter your dragon/Want to jump on your bandwagon”—en route to a disarming, stargazing chorus.) But on the closing “A Real You,” Omori liberates himself from any obvious idolatry to fashion a winsome baroque-folk lullaby that achieves liftoff without shooting for the cheap seats. Fittingly, it’s a love song about not needing all that much to get by: “I choose the simple things with you, both of us only use cable or pay-per-view,” Omori sings, making The Diet a rallying point for analog romantics in a Netflix ‘n’ chill kinda world.

View the original article here

Comments

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Loading...

Popular posts from this blog

Amazon Lord Of The Rings TV Show Latest News

Amazon's Lord of the Rings TV series has been quiet on the news front for the past few months but we're starting to some details emerge for the highly anticipated show.
For most of the past decade, TV producers have been desperate to find ‘the next Game of Thrones’, and now Amazon apparently reckons it’s found it: Lord of the Rings.

Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018) Review

A mid-range phone with triple rear cameras is a rare thing, especially at under £300 but the Galaxy A7 isn't an instant winner. Find out why in our full review.
Should I Buy The Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018)? The Galaxy A7 is a decent choice for a mid-range phone if you're looking to spend less than £300. Highlights include an excellent screen, nice design and cameras you'd wouldn't expect to find.
However, unless you're going to use the wide-angle lens a lot there are some strong rivals out there like the Moto G7 Plus and Honor Play.

Huawei Mate 20 X Review

The Huawei Mate 20 X is an obscenely large smartphone but it has many of the features of the Mate 20 Pro for less. Here’s our full review of the huge premium slab
Should I Buy The Huawei Mate 20 X?
With a bigger screen, bigger battery and smaller notch than the Mate 20 Pro, the Huawei Mate 20 X also has the same camera set up and adds a headphone jack. If you want the most screen possible, it might be for you. 
You lose the curved display, wireless charging, full water resistance and secure Face ID but for many that won’t matter if a huge display, outstanding camera and great performance are top of your list. If you want a normal size phone, get the Mate 20 Pro.

Samsung Galaxy S9 vs Samsung Galaxy S10e

Samsung's Galaxy S range has been updated and here we compare the S10e - the new 'lite' model - to last years' Galaxy S9 to help you decide which phone is best for you.
Should I Buy The Samsung Galaxy S10e Or Samsung Galaxy S9?
The S10e could be the sleeper hit of this year. It doesn’t have the embedded fingerprint sensor of the S10 and S10 Plus or their triple cameras, but it comes with the same processors, new screen design, ultra-wide camera, and all in a compact and comfortable format with a smaller price-tag.
That being said, the S9 is still an excellent device, and its new, lower price makes it a definite bargain.

iHealth Core Review

This smart scale from iHealth offers detailed body composition measurements, from BMI to visceral fat rating. Find out what we think in our iHealth Core review.
Should I Buy The iHealth Core? We like the way that the Core and Lite scales interact with the other iHealth products, and the Core offers a bunch of useful metrics with which to monitor your health. Setup is easy and the app's graphs give a decent visual representation of your health-metric trends as you progress.

Like Fan Page