Brian Olive: Two of Everything

A bewitching album of rock, soul, glam, psych and more

Brian Olive’s second album continues to showcase the multi-instrumentalist’s musical breadth. Singing, writing and playing piano, guitar, and woodwinds, his music is based in rock and soul, but stretches out with superb touches of psych, glam, jazz, blues, R&B, exotica and even a hint of the musical stage. As on his debut release, Olive interweaves his influences, evoking an Eastern feel with a guitar and tone generator solo on the funky “Left Side Rocking,” layering brooding woodwinds on the thick drum backing of “Traveling,” threading his flute into the deep bass soul of “Go on Easy,” and evoking Detroit-era Motown with the title track’s melody. The instrumental reprise of “Two of Everything” sounds like something from Edgar Winter’s glam period, and the tone generator on “Strange Attractor” hangs niftily between the backwards riff of the Beatles’ “Baby You’re a Rich Man” and a bagpipe. The lyrics are poetic and image-heavy, but rather than trying to decipher the sentences, listeners will groove on the ease with which the words express the melodies; more extemporaneous thought than composed character and story. Recorded in Cincinnati and Nashville, and co-produced by the Black Key’s Dan Auerbach, this is an album you don’t just listen to, you feel it. [©2011 hyperbolium dot com]

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