Testa Rosa has all the spit and polish of bands like The Pretenders and Blondie with its tight melodies and terribly infectious pop rock. This is the case with “Ollie & Delilah”, which vocalist/guitarist Betty Blexrud-Strigens nails perfectly. It’s the type of album that one feels an instant connection with, like it has been in your collection for years and years. Songs such as “Book About Clouds” and the pretty “Arms of a Tree” have a gorgeous, timeless quality to them. But the band can give you edgy, moody rockers as well. “Hollow Arm” has as much verve as the somber, melancholic downers such as “Easy For You to Say” which resembles The Sundays before building slowly to close. Again, the familiarity with the album is its greatest strength simply because a nugget like “Weather Underground” will have you humming or singing along without evening knowing any of the damn lyrics. The material expands into four and five minutes with “Only to Fail Again” being a pleasing ballad. Even a German version of “Ollie & Delilah” works. Sure, it’s not Nena’s “99 Luftballoons”, but what are you gonna do?
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// Notes from the Road
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