Singles & Beyond
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Top Customer Reviews
Gone are the multiple layers of instrumentation. Gone is the cohesiveness and flow. This is just a bunch of early songs and sound experiments, with decidedly mixed results.
Track by track:
1. Love Athena -- best song on the album. Great power-chord track.
2. Today I Lost A Tooth -- a 1:18 minute track with spare instrumentation. It's about as big of a deal as its title.
3 & 4. California Demise 1 & 2 -- Forget your memory of the great California Demise 3 from Black Foliage. These two earlier songs consist of a simple chord progression, a few backwards guitars, and "ooo ba ba nya nya nya" serving as the lyrics.
5. A Sunshine Fix -- I like this one. A bit ominous sounding. Cool brass line. Sort of a carnival-sounding break after the verses.
6. Fireplace -- I dig this one a lot. It really sounds like a great lost psychedelic song from '68.
7. Collage #1 -- Fun with tape loops and random studio knob-twiddling. Program your CD player around this.
8. Beneath The Climb -- starts with the spoken word "Apples." And it sounds like an Apples In Stereo song. Very poppy. Has a bit of a Thirteenth Floor Elevators jug sound in the background at certain points.
9. I Won This Dog At The Dirtwood... -- lasts a little over a minute. Nothing special.Read more ›
It kicks off with lo-fi pop in "Love Athena," before switching to the weird ballad "Today I Lost A Tooth," and the acoustic guitar duo "California Demise 1 & 2." But soon they switch into darker turf -- a bizarrely gritty "Fireplace" and the sputteringly melodic "Collage 1," which resonates with computerized notes and squeals.
After that, there's no stopping them: lo-fi pop, eerie experimental numbers, morbid rock. "The Giant Day" is something that few Olivia Tremor Control songs are -- danceable and hookish. Then it's the roiling lo-fi grind of "Shaving Spiders," backed up by what sounds like a cracking whip. It ends on an appropriately eerie note with the electronic-warped ballad "The Ships."
Olivia Tremor Control is the symphony of indie rock -- sprawling, complex, and thoroughly beautiful. And taken individually, each song in "Presents Singles and Beyond" is enjoyable at worst, outstanding at best. Even the rough, lo-fi stuff sounds meticulously put together.
The flaw? Olivia Tremor Control is best listened to as a sprawling sonic experience, each song complementing what comes before and after. "Singles and Beyond" doesn't do that. They feel like a handful of beautiful mosaic beads strung together randomly -- still pretty, but not as pretty as they would be if they were carefully arranged.
But musically this can't be faulted. There are one or two less-than-astounding songs, like the rather dull "California Demise" songs.Read more ›
However, having heard the two proper OTC albums, I must say they are both vastly superior and more thematically coherent. So, only start with Singles if you have no other choice.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
No, this is not a collection of would-be 'hits', nor is it a proper album, but it is still a collection of songs well worth your time
I don't have the time to get into... Read more
A few years ago, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art hosted an extensive exhibit from the Van Gogh Museum. Read morePublished on May 2, 2006 by Wendell Chancellor
greatest hits type records can either dramaticly short change a band or it can provide an interesting perspective on a band's career. Read morePublished on September 4, 2004 by C. King
The OTC have never quite earned a solid place in my list of favorites like many other Elephant 6 bands have (NMH, Apples, etc). Read morePublished on May 19, 2001 by Jeffrey P
If you're new to the Olivia Tremor Control, get Black Foliage. It's incredible. This, however, is a horribly mixed effort, a collection of everything they did between their debut... Read morePublished on December 4, 2000 by A. Temple
I was sooo excited when I saw the OTC disc entitled Singles and Beyond that I immediately bought it. Read morePublished on November 30, 2000