Omar Rodriguez-Lopez - Umbrella Mistress - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Omar Rodriguez-Lopez - Umbrella Mistress

by Nathan Fidler Rating:6 Release Date:2016-09-09

So far on the whirlwind of 12 albums in six months, Omar Roderiguez-Lopez has served up offshoots and his previously unreleased mixtures. It’s not made for a great listen on the whole, with the exception of semi-decent effort. Lacking in a cohesive sound or quality control at times, Umbrella Mistress, doesn’t have a particularly high bar to beat.

Beginning with a slice of hazy, psychedelic rock in the form of ‘Saloenliaze’, the second track throws a curveball. ‘Umbrella Mistress’ the titular track adds an element to Omar’s repertoire which we’ve not heard before. With a sprinkling of electronic piano, sounding like it’s been pulled out of holiday resort bar, it seems he’s aiming for some kind of European chic.

What begins to shape is something more thought out than the previous mixtures of psych-rock and jazz, noise-mongering. ‘Blood Count’ has genuine pep, with ragtime sounding piano and, by his own standard, a fairly relaxed guitar solo.

It’s hard to say whether this psychedelic, 60s pop is truly enjoyable, but it’s easier to listen to than some of the albums in this collection. Teri Gender Bender joins Omar once more, but adds little on this occasion.

Channeling what must be his own internal version of Bob Dylan on ‘Blue Pale Queen’, it’s hard to understand why he doesn’t employ his varied styles on a more regular basis. Clearly prog-rock is where his passion lies, but having chiseled away and left his mark on the genre long ago, this could be the next step into a wider world of music.

‘Tell Me What I Did Wrong’ has some sublime guitar bends, showing great restraint his vocal melodies and composition. Plenty of these tracks feel rushed however, which is why this album isn’t rated higher. With more study on marrying his eclectic style to a particular discipline, some great stuff could be ahead of us - “could” being the operative word.

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