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Ollo

The If If

(Groovescooter; US: Available as import; UK: 9 Apr 2007; Australia release date: Oct 2006)

For a while there, Ollo didn’t have a voice; rather, it was a rather run of the mill indietronica duo that made music that was well-constructed but fairly forgettable.  At least, that’s how the first album sounded.  Ollo’s second album-length try, however, features a concentration on Alex Crowfoot’s vocal prowess, and Crowfoot actually comes off just fine for it, sounding a bit like David Gahan or Morrissey if either of them had an ounce of humility left.  Get past the sound and there’s not much to Crowfoot’s lyrical prowess—“Shaky flaky / Hands off snaky” is the best he has to offer in “Shaky Flaky”, and as far as less obviously tossed-off lyrics go, “Dance like rain / This land can take the flood” (from “That Sound”) is about as profound as he gets.  Still, as far as mellow electronic music goes, The If If actually finds its most impressive footing when it apes another group’s sound, whether it be Boards of Canada (“Everywhere Nowhere”), Daft Punk (“Summer Salt”), or even the atmospheric side of Brian Eno (the found-sound rainstorm that closes the album on the second of two hidden tracks).  The If If isn’t about to blow any minds, but one gets the impression that that’s not what Ollo set out to do; rather, Crowfoot and Lars Chestra want to make some nice, enjoyable music, and at that, they succeed fabulously.

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Mike Schiller is a software engineer in Buffalo, NY who enjoys filling the free time he finds with media of any sort -- music, movies, and lately, video games. Stepping into the role of PopMatters Multimedia editor in 2006 after having written music and game reviews for two years previous, he has renewed his passion for gaming to levels not seen since his fondly-remembered college days of ethernet-enabled dorm rooms and all-night Goldeneye marathons. His three children unconditionally approve of their father's most recent set of obsessions.


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