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Owsley

4.6 out of 5 stars 81 customer reviews

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Owsley by OWSLEY

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It seems that the only thing foreseen more frequently than a big pop revival is the death of Beatlesque rock & roll. Neither prediction ever quite comes true. As sure as you can count on a Crowded House coming along every few years to serve as a new messiah for pure pop, you know you'll soon be scratching your head and pondering, What ever happened to Jellyfish? But they just keep coming. Will Owsley is the latest Great Hope to step forward. Owsley fronted the Semantics, a Southern trio whose Geffen debut was never shipped. After that bitter disappointment, the group's drummer--one Ben Folds--moved on and Owsley ended up in the touring bands of Amy Grant and Shania Twain. Don't draw any conclusions based on his past employers, however. Owsley plays rock & roll, albeit of the lyrically wistful, lovingly arranged variety. Owsley needs to pour a little more of his own soul into his work, but while he learns how to bring greater depth to his songs, the surface-level pleasures found on this self-titled debut are plenty captivating. --Steven Stolder
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 10, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Warner Bros / Wea
  • Run Time: 74 minutes
  • ASIN: B00000I8TT
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #238,809 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Back in the cold winter of 1999 I was driving through town listening to my local modern rock station (it's converted to hip hop now). That night I heard a song by a new artist. That artist was Owsley and the song was "Coming Up Roses". The very next day I went out and bought his CD. And it was like unearthing a buried treasue.

In a world of pop music that's about more style over substance, Owsley is one of those rare singer/songwriters that delivers a truckload of quality music. On his first CD he showcases his power pop prowess with the skill of a seasoned songwriter. In an age where the 3 minute 30 second pop song has become a lost art form, Owsley has mastered the craft that puts him at the same level of his peers like Matthew Sweet, Fountains of Wayne and Jason Falkner. He can rock out (evidenced by the song "I'm Alright") and can deliver a thoughtful melody on the very next track ("Coming Up Roses"). He can also deliver those bouncy McCartneyesque pop songs that make you bob your head along to the beat ("Sonny Boy"). Each song is packed with emotion. There are no throw away tracks here. This is one of those rare finds that you can listen to wire to wire without skipping any songs. With an album this full of keenly crafted pop hooks, you'll find yourself humming along with the music long after you finish listening.
The album has a great sound. There's some excellent production quality without it sounding too obtrusive. The songs are the stars here. And they never get bogged down in tedious or cheesey gimmickey effects. As a guitar player, for me was a big thing that the album doesn't sound overly cluttered or compressed. The guitars aren't overly distored and you can hear each instrument clearly. There's a preference for melody as opposed to mayhem.
I can't say enough about this CD. If you're a music fan, then this is a great CD for you. If you're a power popster, then this is a MUST HAVE.
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Format: Audio CD
If it's tight vocals, melodies that stick to your ribs, songs that are easy to relate to, great production, and great musicianship that you desire, then you're about to make a smart purchase. Will Owsley has come up with an album of material that many in the "pop" industry dream of releasing. It flows well from start to finish and it sounds great. Surprisingly, it was all recorded by Owsley in his home studio. It was done so well that his record company decided to release it as is. All Owsely had to do was pick someone to master it. But Owsley is no stranger to writing great songs as he's been on the scene before. In 1993 he teamed up with Ben Fold's old band mate in Majosha, Millard Powers, to form the Semantics. Unfortunately this CD was only released in Japan. If you're lucky enough to find it, GRAB IT, because it's a MAJOR jem! Millard also co-wrote and played on some of these new songs as well(a few are Semantics songs that have been re-recorded). We all need to do what we can to help support Owsley. Radio is slowing starting to give this guy a chance. With Owsley, it's all about the song. Which in my opinion is the most important issue. Top 40 alternative radio proves that it's all about marketing and having a niche. But those bands never last long. Owsely has staying power. He's simply too good to just fizzle out. Love him, embrace him, and buy the freakin CD...
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By A Customer on May 19, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Ever go a while without listening to a good album? Then all of a sudden it comes up and bites you right in the ass. Well, thats exactly what this Owsley CD did to me.(Sorry thats the only metaphor I could think of) But it's true. After going a few months without something new and exciting you seem to get a little bit restless, but as soon as Igot my hands on the thing, I couldn't get it out of my player. What I like most about this disc is that fact that it's not one type of music. Sure, you can catergorize it as powerpop, yet Will Owsley draws on so many different influences that it could be considered anything from rock to anything in the pop music genre....which is great, cause this guy really knows how to rock out...like on the opening track, "Oh no the Radio." The rest of the album sways between the classic rock of ZEP, Queen, Who..to more modern pop of say, Jellyfish as heard on the Beatlesque "Sonny Boy." All in all, a great album that will keep your cd player happy for months on end.
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Format: Audio CD
Will Owsley has paid his dues, yet the Industry keeps asking for more interest. Having worked & toured with the likes of Shania Twain & Amy Grant (amongst the short list of overplayed artists), as well as having fronted THE SEMANTICS with Ben Folds (their only album never received a U.S. release), Owsley quite obviously knows his way around the studio, but not around the system that has him stonewalled.
This stunning, brilliantly conceived & executed album had only a minor airplay hit ("I'm Alright"), & that, in my opinion, was the mildest tune on the album. The first time I heard anything off this release ("Oh, No! The Radio"), it LITERALLY stopped me in my tracks as I was leaving the record store. The music, the vocals & the writing were fresh & different, but also as familiar & comfortable as a favourite old jacket which you haven't worn in years. It's Power Pop in its purest form & nothing less than an utter joy to hear. As the late, great Kevin Gilbert wrote, "it's got more hooks than a tackle box!".
Unfortunately, the truth about this album (as well as its creator) is that it's too good for the pabulum that mires the so-called Top 40 market, which changes almost hourly. Will Owsley has a style, depth & substance which is all-too absent in today's sound-bite culture. It doesn't really fit into any pigeonhole & it's well known that the Industry doesn't cotton to people & things it can't stamp to death.
Fortunately, Will has recently established his own record label & a sophomore release is imminent. I just hope this young man with a breath of fresh air can get the kudos he deserves for his briliance.
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