Boulder frat-hop duo Sean Foreman and Nathaniel Motte, aka 3OH!3, first caught our attention in 2007 with a self-titled debut that mixed jokey, sometimes outright ridiculous content with undeniably infectious electronic pop, rap, and dance melodies. Subsequent efforts, namely their 2008 major-label effort Want and 2010 follow-up Streets of Gold, found the band balancing Lonely Island's comedic pop irony with LMFAO's party-centric production. With 2013's Omens, 3OH!3 keep the party going while intermittently delving into a more earnest, if no less irreverent, batch of club-ready cuts. 3OH!3 kick things off in true bombastic style with the boastful "Eyes Closed." In it, they say they can do "it" with their eyes closed, proclaiming, "Motherfucker, this shit is Dubai," and "Yeah Bitch, black belt, kick it like karate/Do it blindfolded, call me Mr. Miyagi." For the sake of clarity, this is not where the band explores more earnest sentiments. On the contrary, the track is pure comedic false bravado, with 3OH!3's tongues planted firmly in their cheeks. They keep this nudge-nudge-wink-wink vibe going with several other LOL moments including "Black Hole," in which Foreman asserts himself to be "no homo sapien," but rather "an ancient alien...sent to take your woman." As always, other pop culture celebrities are targets for the group’s rap-roasts, like on "Two Girlfriends," where not even Grammy winner Adele escapes 3OH!3's irreverent barbs. Of course, when the biggest dig the duo can come up with about Adele is to say "It ain't over 'til the fat lady sings," it becomes clear that Omens is working on a fairly superficial and juvenile comedic level; this isn’t biting satire, it’s pure Mad Magazine silliness. Of course, 3OH!3 would be the first to admit that, and when they stick to this kind of breezy, shoot-from-the-hip referential humor, like calling out wheelchair-bound scientist Stephen Hawking, or '70s track-and-field icon Steve Prefontaine, Omens works. However, when 3OH!3 drop the slacker stand-up routine and attempt something more heartfelt, as they do on "Make It Easy," "Back to Life," and the mundane post-party regret song "Hungover," the results are pretty trite. Few things are more excruciating than hearing shallow frat guys try to sound deep, and these tracks can really make you wince. Ultimately though, when 3OH!3 stick to the anthemic, glorification/satirization of their own lifestyle, the good certainly outweighs the bad on Omens.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Matt Collar