Oupa - Forget

by Priscilla Eyles Rating:6.5 Release Date:2011-08-15

For those expecting more of the same 90s style grungey guitar music from Yuck frontman Daniel Blumberg you're in for a surprise, because this is a very stripped back lo-fi affair that leaves guitars far behind for the most part. It reveals a more sensitive, vulnerable and intimate side to the singer and sounds like it recorded in his bedroom.

The songs themselves are all rather simple, most relying on one repeated chord sequence, usually simple chords on a piano/keyboard. But they have an intensity, a yearning romance and atmosphere to them which draws you in and makes it a perfect meditative album to listen to late at night on your headphones or with someone you love. Just don't expect any upbeat numbers. Blumberg's strong vocals (often with echo to haunting effect), alone and multi-tracked, come to the fore and reveal a emotional rawness which wasn't fully tapped in Yuck.

Standout tracks include 'Waiting for the Car', with its hypnotic and ghostly piano motif and wooden block percussion, expressive in it's very simplicity, and aching in its lyrics about a girl he should've put behind him. 'Physical' has a depth to it which is beautiful, its organ and basic electronic percussion - which sounds like a keyboard preset and something you'd find on a demo adding to the song's intimacy -are again a simple backing for Blumberg's beguiling voice. The epic 'Those are the Senses', which clocks in at nearly 11 minutes (and explains why there's only 7 songs), is a good way to close the album, gradually building from its harpsichord-sounding motif to add some urgent guitar work and white-sounding noise which is reminds you of Mogwai and 65 Days of Static.

On the negative side, the songs are rather similar sounding. And Blumberg may be accused in this cynical world of being over-earnest in his attempts to prove himself as a profound singer-songwriter after only one album. But it's a considered album worth listening to regardless of the context and it makes the next Yuck album (if there is one) an album worth looking out for.

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