Saturday, 10 November 2012

Album Review - The Overtones: Higher

Hey guys! So a much needed album review on this blog has been long overdue so I'm now going to review to you the brand new album from the Overtones called Higher. If you liked the old doo-wop from the 50's, the Overtones are a 21st Century equivalent with that pop edge. I'm so excited that I am going to see them on the 20th of November so I had to buy their new album to know the songs before the gig. So yeah here we go with the review!

1. Loving the Sound - This was the first single released from the album which they also performed on Red or Black a while ago. It's such a cheery and uplifting tune. Best choice for the first track as when you play this track, you instantly want to dance along to it. You can tell that the band has gotten stronger voice-wise from their first album, it's a big improvement.  Great start!
2. Perfect - First cover of the Fairground Attraction hit, with that doo-wop twist. The use of horns in this track really give it that old fashioned swing-like feel to the tune. The group do this song justice, one again another groovy number.
3. Higher - The piano at the start sounds really dramatic and then the drum beat comes in and brings up the pace. It's good to hear another main voice at the start than hearing Timmy all the time, no offense he's a great singer but it's great to see the other guys getting a solo part. It's an exciting song this one, it's hard to explain but it's just a motivating number if you know what I mean. Listen to the track to understand what I'm saying.
4. Runaround Sue - The slow humming intro really brings you in and then the swing beat comes in. This cover of the Dion song is another up lifter and yet another tune to dance to, you can imagine this playing in an old 50's dance where couples do a quickstep number to this song. And again, each member gets their own little solo. And who got the trumpet solo at the end, that was impressive.
5. Reet Petite - With this Jackie Wilson hit, you would expect to hear either Timmy or Darren to sing this one, then the surprise hits you when Lachie begins to sing (the bass voice). It's funny to hear an Australian sing this song, but it's a great cover. He gets the rolling r in 'reets' which is the main thing. These notes are quite high in Lachie's range but he belts them out with vibrato which makes you shimmy to the song. Of course, you can't be the original but that doesn't mean this is a bad cover.
6. Groovin' - As the title suggests, you expect to hear a groove and boy golly, do you get a groove! Things finally slow down a little but the tune still gets that happy feeling in it, just makes you want to click your fingers along to it. Very soulful, very gospel like, so after dancing to all those previous tracks, it's an amazing track to chill out to. Key change is done really well too and Timmy hits very high notes quite a lot which is impressive. Adore this track, hope they play this live!
7. Unforgettable -  We slow down even more with this cover of a Nat King Cole beauty. Still has that slowed down swing. Love the delicate piano in this track, very jazzy. Harmonies are really good in this track and Lachie once again gets the main vocal, those low bass notes are just so smooth.
8. Love Song - We're finally back with some original material. This has a slight reggae element added to the swing which is probably my favourite thing about the track. This song gets stuck in your head for days, trust me, I can't stop singing it. Plus, you can't beat a bari sax bass themed riff. If you've listened to Gambling Man from their first album, it does sound kinda similar but it's still a good track.
9. The Glory of Love - Lachie's ba-doom-ba's are adorable in this cover. We're back to the 50's sounding element to this album. This is very bluesy, smooth and sophisticated. But a little short, which it was slightly longer.
10. You've Lost That Loving Feeling - Violin's at the start make the piece sound intense and dramatic, then Lachie's smooth voice seems to just blend in with the arco strings. Then the plucked bass brings in the groove, the bass and the horns makes the tune to be honest. It's quite slow at the start but after the second chorus, it starts to get more interesting. I also feel as if it's missing the harmonies a bit in this track. It's not a bad track, but not a favourite.
11. When You Say My Name -The whistle and the 'Say My Name's at the start gets you dancing once again, you know this is going to be a good track from that intro. And it is, brings a smile on your face, plus the laughs at the end add to the fun element.
12. Keep Me Hanging On - The guitar brings in the groove to this Supremes cover. This has more of a straight rhythm to this track. The drumkit is a bit light here, if I have to be super picky. Doesn't bring the track down, but is missing that little something and there's not a really ending to it.
13. Call Me Up - Now this is more like it with the drums, plus the bari sax, gets you dancing to it again. This is another upbeat uplifter, that also gets stuck in your head.  One of my favourites, especially with Lachie's bass notes, ooffft, so sexy! This is another track I hope they play live, can't wait to see their dance moves to this one. Nice cherry end to the album!

Overall Rating - 9/10. Sure this album has its flaws but if you're looking for bright, cheery music and if you like 5 good looking men in tight suits dancing to some swing, then you'll love the Overtones forever! Favourites from this album are Call Me Up, Loving The Sound, Higher, Groovin', When You Say My Name and Love Song, so as you can see I liked most of the original material in this album. It could do with a lot more of that, not that I'm saying the covers are bad, there are just too many. Apart from that, this album has soul, character and that cheeky element that makes you fall in love with the Overtones and right now, is getting me hyped up for seeing them live! CANNOT WAIT!!

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