Oh No Ono!

I’ve mentioned these guys at various points recently, but they were mostly short, frivolous sort of recommendations. Now however, I’ve decided to forgo subtlety and just do a quick concise album review.

The other day I was watching an interview with Tame Impala. As is customary of these televised “up-and-coming-band” interviews, the journalist asked the musicians what kind of music they enjoyed best.   The lead singer replied saying, “We like the kind of music that is the result of one person or a few people constructing an awesome symphony of sounds. You can layer your own voice 700 times for half a second if you want, and we just love that kind of music.”

I love that kind of music too. Don’t get me wrong, I truly believe that some of the best albums ever recorded have stayed true to the conventional, hook-oriented, verse-chorus-verse song structures, and these albums are enduring and beautiful. However, sometimes it’s wonderful to lose yourself in something big and complicated and colorful.

Eggs finds Oh No Ono moving away from the more dance-y and electronic sensibilities showcased in their debut Yes, towards a more orchestrated and layered direction. The string and horn compositions are sweeping and robust, contrasting and beautifully complimenting the delicate soprano (or perhaps even gender ambiguous) vocals. Nevertheless, there is a marked emphasis on solid songwriting throughout so things are experimental without becoming utterly incomprehensible.

Despite this adherence to structure however, there is still a bit of a ‘found art’ quality to Eggs. “Eleanor Speaks” ends in strangely appropriate birdsong, “Eve” begins with some sort of siren and “Internet Warrior” incorporates the sound of a dove cooing. It’s unexpected elements like these that make the album sound really diverse and whole your interest for the whole 53 minutes.

All in all I think that Eggs is a cohesive, melodic and beautiful listen; and an essential for anyone who likes big, bold, rich music. It some ways it reminds me of a modern-day Wagner Opera, full of melodrama, intrigue and romance. Wagner is quoted as saying, “I write music with an exclamation point!” I think this holds true for Oh No Ono as well.

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