Every once and while you hear a piece of music and know what it’s saying. There are no lyrics. But the music itself tells the story as clearly as any words could. This is not how my relationship with Oddisee started. =) The first encounter with Oddisee was an acoustic version of “You Know Who You Are,” with Olivier Daysoul. Listening to him over the next few months and then years, led me to discover Oddisee had this ability, to create stories with just music. I know what you’re thinking. Rock Creek Park, obviously. He had a concrete vision of his inspiration, and told the listener the back story of the album. But it didn’t happen for me on Rock Creek Park. It happened on ODD SEASONS. More specifically, on “The Second Date” off Odd Autumn. Once I heard it I couldn’t unhear it. Everything needed a second listen. A comparison. Not too tough of a task, since his lyrical prowess impresses me repeatedly. There are too many quotes that have struck chords within me. Whole songs that could have come from my journal. But this is not what impresses me. What impresses me, is his ability to evoke that same feeling from so many of his fans on a regular basis. I’ve done a lot of analysis on the matter and feel it boils down to two things:
1. He’s able to remove himself from what is going on around him. Using observation as inspiration.
2. He knows himself well enough to process the stimuli and create his message. Picture perfectly balanced chakra’s.
When his latest release, “The Good Fight,” came out, not listening was not an option. If I had to briefly describe the album I would call it a blueprint of evolution. Keep in mind this is only my bumbling interpretation, so take it with a grain of salt. The album begins with “That’s love” talking about love in many forms, perhaps showing that the inspiration for fighting the good fight comes from love. Then comes “Want Something Done” – Branching out on your own. “Contradiction’s Maze” – Uncertainty…Choices. “Counter Clockwise” & “First Choice” – Mistakes, Recognizing Endings/Promise of New Beginnings. “A List of Withouts” – HATERS. “Book Covers” Lessons Learned “Meant It When I Said It” Acceptance of Selves “Fight Delays” – I’m Good “What They’ll Say” – Recognition of the need for further growth. “Worse Before Better.”
The album is cohesive, meaningful, and while the first word that comes to mind is inspired I don’t know if that accurately describes it. It’s not inspired, it’s Thought About. It’s Inspiring. Maybe that’s what makes his albums different from so many other artists out there. He GIVES with his art, through work. And I think this album is something you should TAKE a listen to!