Spending Time On The Borderline

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Ozma keep maturing as a power pop-punk outfit and shaking off the Weezer tag a bit -- in fact, at times they're reminiscent of old Split Enz, in large part because of the keyboards. But there's plenty of energy about the songs, and "Turtleneck Coverup" even shows major signs of political awareness -- growing up in public. There's more variety in the sound, both in the instruments, like acoustic guitar or keyboards codas to pieces, or even in the texture of the instruments -- witness the opening to "Spending Time." The songwriting continues to hit a high standard, although "Eponine" and "Wake Up" both seem to vanish in the moment, before "Restart" and "Lightyears Will Burn" forcefully reclaim attention. The singing is what you've come to expect, more joyous abandon than necessarily always hitting the right notes, but that's fine -- it works in the context, although you have to think that with a little more work on the vocals they could actually move into a classic pop category. Still, there's absolutely nothing wrong with this -- you've just got to wonder how far they can run in this style, though, before it becomes a dead end.

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