Brian Olive: Two of Everything
By Alan Brown 11 July 2011
Almost three years have passed since Brian Olive emerged from the vault of the Cincinnati pawn-shop-turned-recording-studio he helped build clutching his excellent full-length solo debut. Yet it appears the ex-Soledad Brother hasn’t just been busy touring and helping out friends—most recently as guest player on label-mate T-Model Ford’s album Taledragger—but has also been behind the console developing his knob-twiddling skills. Two of Everything is as complex as it is catchy. Adventurous arrangements employ gauzy synthesizers, flutes, punchy Muscle Shoals-style sax and, in one exemplary case on “Strange Attractor”, what sounds like bagpipes. Olive creates atmospheric layers of sound dappled in splashes of dreamy psych-pop sunshine that, on occasion, bring to mind the top-down grooves of ‘60s Chicago outfit the Buckinghams. Soulful glam-orized R&B stomp is still to be heard on songs such as opener “Left Side Rock” and “Back Sliding Soul”, it’s just tempered with a laid-back vibe that finds Olive mellowing down easy.