Olivia [synchronicity] (First Album)

December 23, 2008

solarhalfbreed
walk on by
Dear Angel
Color of your Spoon
Escape the Flames
Dress me Up (English Version)
soulmate
Dekinai (できない; I Can’t)
Grapefruit Tea
crystalline
liquid skies
re-ACT (album mix)
I.L.Y. ~Yokubou~ (album mix)
Mint (Bonus Track)

The album starts off with the grunge-sounding solarhalfbreed. I don’t know when I first listened to this song I didn’t like it, second time I found that it was a pretty decent listen, now I’m wondering what I was listening to the second time, because this song is so forgettable its almost amazing. The arrangement is very strange, it just sounded like it was confused. I made out the drums, though. Olivia’s vocals were just as confused and it seemed like she was singing the same thing over and over: ‘illuminate me’ or ‘illuminate you’ or whatever. I just don’t get this song and its a very weak start to the album.

The next track on the album is the messy walk on by. Olivia I know you’re an eccentric person, but there has to be a better way to showcase it, because this is not it. The arrangement in the beginning is very garage band, rebel, bad girl with the drums, can’t forget the drums. Then we get some sort of haunting Kanon Wakeshima still doll type music and I just shut my ears off, because it just made no sense. Olivia’s vocals were painful and what the hell is she going on about? In the beginning she’s talking about some guy I guess doing her wrong and then she starts saying: ‘i’m a little good girl’ and its just all so creepy an strange and not in a good way, but in a: ‘are you on something?’ type way. This song is a chaotic mess of fail. Pass.

The next track on the album is the loud Dear Angel. Rock is a guilty pleasure of mine, kind a like how country is a guilty pleasure, but like with both there are just some things that don’t sit right with me. Olivia’s vocals for instance, why does she insist on butchering her voice in such a way and making it sound like she has no vocal talent to speak of? Also, what is with the amateur arrangements? They are so bad. The only thing I really liked about this song was the: ‘dear angel’ part of the chorus, because Olivia’s voice sounded nice, but other than that this is just one forgettable track.

The next track on the album is the melancholy Color of your Spoon. Finally, a song I actually like. I never would have thought I would have been so engrossed in a song entitled, ‘color of your spoon’ but it is such a good song. The arrangement is so rainy day, depressing, but it sounds so touching and it just fits. Olivia’s vocal performance finally showed that she has a nice voice and she sung this song with such emotion, especially when her voice gets high during the, ‘color of your spoon’ parts. I love how her voice seems to fade out at the end. This is a good and touching track and my second favorite song by her.

The next track on the album is the grating Escape the Flames. This song I guess gives you that feeling, but most of all it annoys. The arrangement is pretty irritating and sounds like heavy metal, only a tame sort of heavy metal. Olivia’s vocals were painful. I’m not sure why she chose to sing the song in such a high and uninspiring way, but she did. This song accomplishes nothing but leaving you with a headache, and anger at not pushing the next button sooner.

The next track on the album is the semi-decent Dress me Up (English Version). I just can’t get over the fact that she sounds like she’s suffering or being choked to death. The arrangement is typical, I didn’t really care for it because it was a bit annoying. Olivia’s vocals are pitched and awful, it sounds like she’s struggling to get the words out and though the chorus makes this song stand out a bit, its still crushed under the bad and plain arrangement and Olivia’s even badder vocal performance.

The next track on the album is the whisper-y soulmate. Hmm? I really liked this and its about time I’ve liked a song. The arrangement is pretty nice, its very consistent and I like the bird sounds, it gives this song a lot of atmosphere and almost makes it sound religious in a sense. Olivia’s vocals were nice in this, though it could be because she chose to sort of whisper-hum sing the verses and chorus–I think that was the right move, because it really made this song stand-out. It seems haunting, but the message is a positive one.

The next track on the album is the mid-tempo Dekinai (できない; I Can’t). I’m so glad this album has finally started to pick up. This is a pretty good song and the whole desperate atmosphere is definitely relate able. The arrangement is a steady rhythm of the drums, but its very fitting. Olivia’s vocal performance was good, I loved how she shouts: ‘Dekinai!!’ during the chorus, its actually quite powerful, considering what it translates to.

The next track on the album is the pointless Grapefruit Tea. This is like a interlude track, that plays very weirdly, with seemingly no purpose but to waste my time. I think I want my money back for this tea, its bitter.

The next track on the album is the down-tempo crystalline. I was a little worried about this song for a second, but as I listened it seemed to even itself out. The arrangement is very windy, ‘I mean bleak, its freezing outside but no snow it falling and its raining a little’ windy. It was nice, atmospheric and haunting in a sense. I liked how Olivia went with low tones and basically whispered her way through the song, it was a nice touch.

The next track on the album is the bland liquid skies. This song is so long-winded and boring I can’t stand it. It clocks in a little after six minutes and that is entirely too long to be listening to Olivia whisper moan all sad and tragic like. Its like a more duller version of crystalline and I find that I can’t be bothered with it.

The next track on the album is the mid-tempo re-ACT (album mix). Finally, a rock song I can get with. I loved the arrangement, not too loud not too soft but just right, and it definitely kept me engaged. Olivia’s vocals were pretty good in this song as well, I had no problem with it for once. I can for sure see myself getting into this song and ultimately enjoying it, especially the chorus which basically made the whole thing.

The second to last track on the album is I.L.Y. ~Yokubou~ (album mix). I had to listen to this song twice, because it is just one of those songs that you like, but you still find that you can’t really focus on it. The arrangement reminded me of fun house mirrors, so it was kind of neat. Olivia’s vocals were really good in this and I found that I really enjoyed this song, its a pretty interesting track.

The last track on the album is an added quirk, Mint (Bonus Track). I’m really upset that this song is just a bit over two minutes long, because it had a bit going for it. The arrangement was desperate and it made the song pretty engaging. Olivia’s vocals as well were pretty good and I was kind a into the whole: ‘she’s coming to get me!’ of thee I guess chorus. But then the song ends, it just ends and you’re like: wait, what?’ Boo, Olivia.

-GRADE: C-
Rating: * star

Olivia’s first album synchronicity is a bit too forgettable and disappointing, even for a debut album. I only liked six of the songs and if all the songs had played like those six songs did, than this album would have surely gotten an A but as it stands this album just isn’t good enough. Olivia does nothing new and she delivers nothing that we haven’t heard already, but I definitely love her solid approach to her music and how most of her songs sound very broken. Also, she really does have some great album/song titles. The one thing that kills this album the most–because in all truth the arrangements weren’t all that bad–is Olivia’s vocals. I mean, they’re really painful and glaringly awful at times and it just ruins some potentially good songs and I really hate when that happens. The stand-out track on this album is of course Color of your Spoon, the rest are decent. synchronicity honestly could have been so much better than this.

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