Eric Anders and Mark O’Bitz: Variant Blues: Music In The Time Of Coronavirus: Songs 21-30

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Eric Anders and Mark O’Bitz
Variant Blues: Music In The Time Of Coronavirus: Songs 21-30
(Eric Anders and Mark O’Bitz)

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The fourth release from Eric Anders and Mark O’Bitz, 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 “Far Gone,” the duo set us into another generally melancholy collection of well-drawn, perfectly played pop-rock tunes, which, unfortunately, this time around, don’t get out of their way enough for me.

Frankly, it might be Anders’ 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. It’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.

There’s no denying the beautiful sound of a tune like “We’ll Get There Soon,” the layered guitars especially perfect, or the guys finally finding some space on the verses on “Beyond Space,” or what I feel is the best tune here, and another one with lots of space, “Tired Love.” Removing oneself from the obvious “music in the time of…” stuff, “Tired Lover,” might rise to one of the best mature love songs I have ever heard. Now, this I can applaud!

Again, Eric Anders and Mark O’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.

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