Album Review :
Olivia - Back to Friends Where Summer Never Ends

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Artist: Olivia (the band)
Album: Back to Friends Where Summer Never Ends
Label: None (released independently)
Release Date: October 3, 2006
Review by: Eric Pettersson

Hawaii: home to pineapple, coconut, hula skirts, and terribly tacky souvenirs for tourists from the continental US. Or so we thought. In actuality, Hawaii is home to a band called Olivia. After a brief dance with Essential Records in 2005, Olivia have been surviving on their own, and on October 3, 2006, this underdog Christian pop-punk band released an EP that may start garnering a few more label options, if they desire to go that route again.

If you find yourself desperately wishing for a return of the days of Dogwood, early Relient K, and Ace Troubleshooter, you may find some relief in the tunes of Olivia. “Something Greater” and “Letters in White Lines” are two upbeat and melodic tracks with positive messages, notable guitar work, and catchy choruses. Reed Cromwell’s unique voice finds itself most urgent on the darkest track on the record, “Are You Out There?,” which finds Reed lost and desperately looking for a new direction after giving too much of himself to a bad relationship. The darker feel continues for “See You Soon, See You Never” which asks the question “How can I help you when you know you’re wrong?” The guitar solo towards the end is a flawless fit, and the story concludes with “You can’t hear what I’m trying to say. Gone so long. I know it’s hard alone so just be strong.” This five song EP ends with “Feelings,” a more upbeat track with decent lyrics, but the awkward vocals on the verses leave the song a little weak.

Olivia is back in full action. These five tracks are catchy and full of energy, not to mention positive lyrics, which are a needed addition to the current scene. They all know their instruments well, and they have their desired sound pinned. Reed never tries singing out of his range like a lot of whiney pop-punk bands do these days, and he leads the band well with strong and powerful vocals that definitely fit their sound. Hawaii: home to a band called Olivia, a band whose most recent release may just put their island state on the musical map.

7/10

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Buy Back to the Friends Where Summer Never Ends right HERE in the Indie Vision Music online store.