Album Review :
Oddly Normal - The Next EP

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Band: Oddly Normal
Title: The Next EP
Label: N/A
Release Date: February 2, 2009
Review By: Scott L


01. Breakfast By The Sea
02. Wake Me Up
03. Number Nine
04. Ring Around The Moon
05. The Next

Life is about give and take. It’s about looking for the bright side. And about seeing the glass as half full rather than half empty. Kinda like that homely, full-figured gal that wasn’t so easy on the eyes, but you had to hand it to her… she could bake a mean batch of biscuits. This is the reason that all the girls that guys won’t give a second look to in high school are usually the first ones to get married afterwards. Because when the class war is over, it’s all about skills.

Oddly Normal, a 4-piece out of Talladega, Alabama may not have all of the polish and glamour of a lot of what graces the shelves of Sam Goody, but they demand your attention none-the-less. What they lack in big budget production value they more than make up for with a journeyman’s work ethic and the ability to craft simple yet catchy songs. Songs that are filled with so many hooks that I was tempted to make a ridiculous joke about a tackle box. Lucky for me I thought better of it.

Their 5-song release, appropriately entitled “The Next EP”, is a 20-minute trip into the world of jangly indie-rock. The EP starts off with “Breakfast By The Sea”, a song about Jesus after His resurrection. You may have read the account in John 21:1-19 where Jesus calls to Peter, who’s returned to his life as a fisherman. Peter jumps out of his boat, swims to shore, where Jesus prepares something to eat for them. This is where Jesus asks Peter three times if he loves Him. Cool tune to be sure. This one stuck with me for days.

Oddly Normal has crafted some music that is well worth your time to check out. It’s fun and accessible. Instrumentation is fairly simplistic. And by that, I don’t mean unskilled or dumbed down; I mean that they keep things simple. Uncluttered. Everything is straight forward. No big production. No big effects. Just four guys playing good music.

Lyrics are as solid and straight forward as the music. Thematically spiritual more than overtly preachy. But the message shines through all the same. Take “Wake Me Up” for instance, “I’m tired of waking up at three / and finding out that everyone has one up on me / and I found these contradictions mean / is that I’m falling oh so short of everything that I need to be / I’ll sit down here / revive me / may your melody find me / wake me up / with your love / shine your light / on everything I’ve done”.

The standout track was “Breakfast By The Sea”. Hands down. A little work and a better mix and this track goes top twenty radio rotation. Seriously, I just couldn’t get this one out of my head. Which is kind of a pain when you’re trying to work on other reviews.

Overall: A stellar effort and a good EP. Well crafted indie rock with smooth melodies. Maybe not the homecoming queen, but a solid contender for the Betty Crocker bakeoff.

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