Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Album Review: oOoOO - Our Love Is Hurting Us

Album Rating: D
I've always referred to this genre within a genre as bass music for the tumblr generation. It’s loud, dark and, when seen live, mind-bogglingly absorbing, but oozing with a particularly syrup-like sentimentality. You know, the kind that best describes fake, digital polaroid photos with “<3 u 4eva” adoringly typed beneath in Comic Sans. Raw? Yes. Sincere? Yes; just a little cheap. Without noticeable deviation from the norm the oversaturated bass-lines and reverb switches can never really add up to anything more than just another single-stop album. The feeling and emotion are there, but the method is something I personally take issue with.

Luckily, it seems, oOoOO seems to be at least close to a similar conclusion. Our Love Is Hurting Us shows him attempting to spread his wings and enrich what was fast becoming a somewhat shallow sound. He still remains firmly entrenched in the deep, bass-drenched style of his previous work, however, but in some instances the sounds and styles he copies and draws influence from are nothing short of surprising. Take “Starr” as an example: not far from a minute before its conclusion it suddenly unleashes a sun-kissed Miami style guitar solo. A flurry of electrified notes that would seem completely out of place if not for their relaxed, yet empowered, tone. That or this is simply the musical form of power-clashing. In either case, it’s a musical risk that has paid off for oOoOO, which sadly is more that can be said for the rest of the album.

What remains varies from average, through forgettable, to downright cringe inducing. oOoOO is pulling on an increasingly familiar set of strings as he creates an array of tracks that fall short of engaging to the point of barely achieving mere existence alone. The little plinks of chimes and high-tuned vocals over flat bass have the consistency of smoke: with the intention, I’m inclined to believe, of simply being cute instead of meaningful; something this style of minimal music cannot afford to do. This is especially true when we’re faced with such songs as “Break Yr Heartt”: a track so excruciatingly similar to a 13-year-old girl’s MySpace ramblings that it’s almost a relief when it disintegrates into a rather predictable, “haunting” outro. Anything, it seems, is preferable to a chipmunk voice crooning “And I’m with you/ And I love you.” The other tracks on Our Love Is Hurting Us don’t get quite this bad, this is true, but still none really reach for anything truly substantial or ambitious. It’s all just a rather depressing heap of mediocrity and, it appears, laziness.

It probably says a lot when I’m forced to suspect that an artist is being ironic with his music. With this release oOoOO just appears to be too sentimental; too cutesy; too cheesy. Before, it would be perfectly acceptable to proclaim that these aspects were just part of the genre’s character, but Our Love Is Hurting Us is just a step too far. With his next release, oOoOO must prove that he can do more than exploit a scene; or risk driving himself, and the movement that he helped to begin, into the ground.


1. TryTry
2. Springs
3. Starr
4. Break Yr Heartt
5. NoWayBack

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