Oh No Ono - Eggs - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Oh No Ono - Eggs

by Rich Morris Rating:6 Release Date:2010-02-01

Opening with an eruption of muzzy, eastern-tinged orchestration straight out of The Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour, the first track on the new album from Denmark's Oh No Ono makes no bones about their love of the fab four's mysticism-and-mescaline phase. It's even called 'Eleanor Speaks' and it sounds like the furthest reaches of George Harrison's acid-soaked imagination tempered with a dash of McCartney's melodic sure-footedness. It effectively sets out the band's stall for this album.

Much of 'Eggs' is exceedingly pretty, such as the fluttering 'Swim', which recalls Kate Bush at her most breathlessly ornate, or the opulent and lush 'The Tea Party'. Most of it also extremely upbeat music. In fact, 'upbeat' doesn't do the justice to the likes of candy pop stomper 'Miss Miss Miss', which sounds like Hanson if they were conscripted into a cult which believed in compulsory MDMA ingestion and worshiped Barney the dinosaur. It's frankly a little scary.

Thankfully, other songs explore subtler, but no less psychedelic, directions. 'Eve' is a sorrowful lullaby where a sad teddy bear voice tells you that "time is running out". 'Icicles' is complex and multi-layered, moving from airy dream pop to nervous, fretful piano pomp. Meanwhile, 'The Wave Ballet', unbelievably, starts out sounding like it could be from a particularly dark moment in the musical Oklahoma!, before it explodes into blissful psyche-pop like sun bursting through clouds.

Like fellow Danes Mew, Oh No Ono seem besotted with baroque arrangements to the point where it seriously begins to get in the way of their music. Both 'Swim' and 'The Tea Party' would benefit from fewer tempo changes and a relaxing of the group's fiddly, overly-mannered delivery. Often, one feels that Oh No Ono can't resist reaching for a higher, grander scale which simply doesn't suit the songs they've created. 'Hopelessly Young' is the only track to really slip free of this. It's a bracing, likeably stroppy, irresistibly poppy romp where the band's Merry Prankster leanings are kept nicely in check. More like this please.

Richard Morris

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