Artist: Oh So
CD title: Erotic Too
Label: Middel Skov
Genre: Synthpop, Goth
The Charlottesville VA Darkwave/Goth act, Oh So, continues their musical exploration of the human experience, with their latest EP, Erotic Too. The EP contains newer versions of the songs released on Erotic One, as well as three new tracks, "N.E.W.", "One Thing (too)" and "Whispers". I was skeptical at first considering the first Erotic EP was good but a bit of a step back production-wise for the band. Their first album All I Ever Wanted contained a goth and darkwave sound I hadn't heard in the Dark Alternative music scene in a long while. Then they released Quiet Evening which had the band experiment with their sound further by giving some of the tracks from All I Ever Wanted jazz, folk, or alterna-pop makeovers. Founding member JJ Williams and Bruce Stocking proved that they could inject new life into a genre of music that many said (and still say) was dead (undead). Later the band added 2 additional members. Leia Manuel on backing vocals, and Jordan Marchini on live drums. With the new talent on board, Oh So released a new EP, Erotic One. Erotic One saw the band explore a retro minimalist electro style. It was a good, but when compared to the rather lush sounds of their debut album and its related EPs, the end result felt less than epic.
Erotic Too returns Oh So to its lush and layered roots while keeping the retro electro style of Erotic One. "Erotic (Too)" maintains the 80's robotic elements of the original, but adds additional drums and backing vocals which evolves the song from sounding like Gary Numan to Information Society. "Make It Stop (Band Version)" receives a similar treatment but rather than sounding like an mournful synthpop song, I'm reminded more of a The Cure track with the addition of heavier basslines, backing vocals, guitar solo and live drums. "N.E.W." has a New Order feel to it, with male and female vocals, saxophones, and more sinister sound. "One Thing (Too)" combines the simplicity of Erotic One with the goth sensibilities of All I Ever Wanted, containing dark edged synths, auto-tuned vocals, sultry female backing tracks, and some rather sexy lyrics. Closing the EP is "Whispers", a softer sadder song with a simple bassline, 8-bit sounding synths, and soulful vocal harmonies.
Oh So is a band that continues to experiment and refine their style. I appreciate them for this. They are not scared to try something new even if it is completely out of sync with their previous releases. While I may not enjoy everything they release, I can still listen to their music and say "Hey! That was really cool!" I am interested to see what style they settle on for their next LP, but until that time I'm content to enjoy the EPs and all the different ways this band chooses to express themselves. If you want to add something that successfully combines the old with the new, then give Erotic a listen.
Take a listen to - Oh So's Erotic
Rating: 4 out of 5
Jason "DJ Kantrip" Calhoun
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