Reviews

O'Hooley & TidowO'Hooley & Tidow
Album: The Hum
Label: No Masters
Tracks: 10
Website: http://www.ohooleyandtidow.com

If there is a more distinctive and original sound in contemporary music than O'Hooley & Tidow, than I have yet to hear it, is quite a statement to start any album review, but it's one that has held true of their entire catalogue and "The Hum" is not going to break that trend.

What I find fascinating is that I could have also started this review with the equally bold, 'If there is a more mercurial duo than O'Hooley & Tidow, I have yet to find them.' And that is what makes Belinda and Heidi one of the most consistently exciting acts I have the pleasure of listening to.

On first play I have never yet enjoyed every track on any of their albums but on returning to discover what it is about a particular track that found me against it, I find that that track now sounds well to my ears and other track is at odds with the album. The net result of that is that every album becomes a gift that simply keeps on giving because it is so reflective of the mood you take to it. It also means that by the time I write the review, every song has wormed its way into my heart, be they funny, reflective, well just there. It allows the albums to constantly reinvent themselves and stay fresh, now that's real songwriting.

Unlike when you see/hear the duo live when you're sort of lead by the relaxed, natural banter, you normally listen to an O'Hooley & Tidow album alone, the songs bend towards you, sometimes stoically retaining their meaning across several listens and then you catch a phrase, a lyric or a chord slightly differently and you find a whole new perception.

At its core this is an album of piano and harmonies, but it is so rich in colour and tone, you really can't totally pin it down, relate to it, yes, relate to the descriptions narratives and people yes, but blink and you may find yourself in another song.

If that gives you the impression that I've spent a lot of time listening to "The Hum" you'd be absolutely spot on. From the opening, title track, through to the closing notes of "Kitsune" and back again this is an album that delivers and no one other than O'Hooley & Tidow could have delivered it. And then there's the homage to Ale!

Neil King

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