Eric Anders and Mark Oâ€™Bitz
Variant Blues: Music In The Time Of Coronavirus: Songs 21-30
(Eric Anders and Mark Oâ€™Bitz)
The fourth release from Eric Anders and Mark Oâ€™Bitz,Â Variant Blues: Music In The Time Of Coronavirus: Songs 21-30 is their new 10-song album.
Opening with the laid-back country-influenced ballad â€œFar Gone,â€ the duo set us into another generally melancholy collection of well-drawn, perfectly played pop-rock tunes, which, unfortunately, this time around, donâ€™t get out of their way enough for me.
Frankly, it might be Andersâ€™ high warble of a voice as much as the material. He sings mighty fine, has got a good style, and with Jenn Grinels backing vocals blend, the sound is pleasing enough. Itâ€™s just that on these songs basically of all the same stripe, production, and sound, I got a bit stifled over the point and sound of it all.
Yeah, guys, I get it; the past couple of years have sucked.
Thereâ€™s no denying the beautiful sound of a tune like â€œWe’ll Get There Soon,â€ the layered guitars especially perfect, or the guys finally finding some space on the verses on â€œBeyond Space,â€ or what I feel is the best tune here, and another one with lots of space, â€œTired Love.â€ Removing oneself from the obvious â€œmusic in the time of…â€ stuff, “Tired Lover,” might rise to one of the best mature love songs I have ever heard.Â Now, this I can applaud!
Again, Eric Anders and Mark Oâ€™Bitz are great players-songwriters-musicians; no doubt about it, I just feel with Variant Blues: Music In The Time Of Coronavirus: Songs 21-30 they may have gone to the same well too many times.