The Magic Treehouse

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One of the bigger Brit-pop buzzes of 2000, Ooberman's debut album is a curious, if slightly odd, affair. While most compared the sound to Parklife-era Blur, Ooberman relies much more heavily on bizarre tempos and lyrics, as well as '70s easy listening. There's a certain quality to these songs that makes them sound as if they would've been easy listening radio staples in the mid-'70s, which is why they sound somewhat jarring amongst today's soundscape. The lyrics are twee, almost too twee at times, as they outdo other twee-poppers such as the Lightning Seeds, and with a few exceptions (the moving "Shorley Wall") the songs are lyrical fluff. The overuse of strings and middle-of-the-road production don't help much, either. Still, whenever Ooberman stumble across a good hook, it is pretty good, such as parts of "Sugar Bum" and "Million Suns." It'll be interesting to see how this band develops in the future, but for now The Magic Treehouse is a unique yet flawed debut.

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