[2 April 2013]
Ex-Oblio frontman Terry Price’s first solo release How to Say Goodbye, released under the name Photo Ops, began as a way to channel the emotions surfaced by the hard times he was going through. Appropriately enough, the album sounds like the soothing therapy album it is: an aural equivalent of reaching the light at the end of the tunnel but not forgetting the hard journey taken through the dark to get there. Price’s brand of rock singer/songwriter-stylistics isn’t particularly unique, but he separates himself from the pack through his layered approach. Guitar textures and ever-present dreamy keyboards help to underline the peacefully cathartic tone of the music.
However, while How to Say Goodbye‘s 10 songs make a good case for Price’s talent as a musician, and the feel remains strong throughout, the compositions themselves fail to match the atmosphere. There’s a smattering of good songs throughout, in particular the soaring “It Makes Me Cry” and the almost-tearjerker “Sail Across My Eyes”, but most of the album floats in a sea of pleasantness without ever really rising up to demand attention. Everything from the melodies to the vocals is fine but only occasionally so strong that they’d imprint on the listener. This makes How to Say Goodbye a thoroughly enjoyable listen—just not one that will fully stick with you after the album has finished playing.