Dear listener, let's recall the last time we listened to music that didn't come from digital software in studios but directly from vintage music recording devices. And when was the last time we listened to records and reels like our parents used to? It's quite a tricky question because the digital era has taken over everything from music to movies and visual arts. However, even within this digitization, there are musicians who wholeheartedly embrace analog sound and record music not through a console and software, but through vintage recording equipment (you know, those devices with two reel-to-reel tapes).
Oliver James Brooks is precisely that kind of musician who released his fourth album, "In A Little Long While," preserving the style, sound, and sensuality of analog recording entirely. He had the assistance of his friends in the recording process: Annie Rowlinson on bass guitar, Nick Johnston on keyboards, the beats brought to life by Jack Emblem, and the final recording and mastering of the album by Joao Carvalho on his vintage AMPEX ATR-102. Thanks to such support, the album "In A Little Long While" turned out to be breathtaking. Gentle folk blends with an elusive sound in the track "In A Little Long While," then dissolves into the breeziness of "Yeah, That's My Plan," which is impossible to restrain. I adore the light analog echo in tracks like "Yeah, That's My Plan" and "On The Fence," where voluminous and stylish folk-rock arrangements merge with Oliver James Brooks' hypnotic and dreamy vocals. These tracks truly pierce to the core, transporting listeners to a melancholic and captivating state. "How It's Goin'" presents vibrant alt-folk with a lively rhythm and powerful lyrics, easily poised to become a bright gem in the classics of folk and country. Listening to this track feels like stumbling upon my parents' vinyl and playing it on an old gramophone.
Ah, the tenderness of that classic sound! Truly, immense effort was put into the album to preserve and convey that retro vibe. The journey through the album culminates with tracks like "Technologically Stoned" and "Right Place, Wrong Time." The sultry vocals and sensuous guitar play their best parts, igniting my heart with their fire. A perfect ending to the album leaves a sweet lingering taste, making me want to replay all the tracks again. There's something magical hidden within this album. It's as if a warm, soft light fills the room, and the yellow rays comfort during its playback. Conceptually, this album delves into the contradictions in a person's life, about losses and acceptances, about pain and love, about losing oneself and finding joy in a new phase of life. Undoubtedly, all of this is reflected in every sound, word, and even in its production. It's almost as if the entire album is crafted from contradictions, yet as they merge, they form an astonishing palette of colors and thoughts. Starting off with gentle folk, it then shatters into a powerful album with experimental harmonies. Passionate music melds with melancholic, slow vocals...
This album holds countless boundaries, thoughts, and energies. "In A Little Long While" is worth not just a listen but multiple plays, and it deserves incredible appreciation. And you know, what has always amazed me about analog recordings is the absence of numerous duplicates and the ability to fine-tune instruments and vocals in tracks. While software can withstand up to a thousand duplicates, and each tool can be edited. Simply an incredible album! I highly recommend everyone to listen to this stunning release and truly feel the sincerity and sensuality of its sound. Trust me, you won't regret it! :)
*This review was made possible through the album's press campaign