Saddle Creek | Now It's Overhead | Reviews


Now It's Overhead

Author: April May
10/29/2001 | | | Album Review
Since Nirvana, most bands have a limited understanding of the importance of dynamics in a song. For the most part the treatment follows Cobain's formula of soft, minor key verses moving into the harsh chorus and back again. It's a sort of musical code for bipolar disorder. While revolutionary in the early '90s, other dynamic possibilities have long been overlooked or uncharted.
Now It's Overhead has a million strengths, but one aspect of songwriting they understand extremely well is that in constructing a powerful mesh of sounds, occasional silence can be the best punctuation. When we aren't subjected to that musical exclamation point, we are given a wealth of depth and clever subtlety in lyrics. The words are loosely held together, as if one line was no more important than another. As if the phrases would connect, separate and recombine in new fashions endlessly if the drums did not force a finish.
Based in Athens, Georgia, Now It's Overhead boasts a talented cast including frontman Andy LeMaster of Bright Eyes and Orenda and Maria of Azure Ray. Altogether this outfit is a little less folky than the two other projects and tends to be more forceful, layered, and dark. The harmonies of the Azure Ray ladies can even be grating or eerie when combined with Andy's vocals. Often, the backing vocals remain an aspect of the music's texture, doing little to steal the limelight. This is almost definitely one of the best albums of the year. (Saddle Creek)


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