overlord: In Soviet Russia, My Heart Breaks You

[4 April 2011]

By Mike Schiller

Yes, I can admit that the reason I wanted to hear this album was its title. It’s probably the same reason you’re reading this. As much as that title initially seems like a ploy to get people to look at overlord’s new album, however, it actually works as an encapsulation of the contents within. The album doesn’t take itself too seriously, but there’s an undercurrent of melancholy that’s unmistakable if you listen long enough. It’s a short album, its 10 tracks coming in at under a half hour. Its first half is smart and chippy and just a little silly, while the second half settles into slightly more contemplative territory without ever coming off as mopey. Quick tempos and harmonies that evoke the Monkees more than the Beatles or the Beach Boys go surprisingly well with melancholy (if clever) lyrics like “Just as Lazarus died a second time, well, I am back to the big lie”. The band makes it impossible to take sentiments like “Nobody loves me / And if they did / They’d be making a terrible error” too seriously when they couch it in ‘60s doo-wop stylings. The juxtaposition of sunny pop with largely downcast lyrics makes it difficult to get much of a bead on overlord based on In Soviet Russia, My Heart Breaks You, but at the very least, they’ve created an interesting album that works awfully well as good-mood background music—at least, it does if you’re not listening too close.

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/138741-overlord-in-soviet-russia-my-heart-breaks-you/