EP REVIEW: Robert O'Connor - Resistance (EP)
By: Cyrus Rhodes
Genre: Pop, Rock, Alternative Rock
John Mayer, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Jack Johnson, Elvis Costello
Singer/Songwriter Robert O’Connor just posted an Resistance - EP sampler on SOUNDCLOUD Robert O'Connor is an Irish singer/songwriter who hails from Dublin, Ireland. His debut album Distance (2008) received critical acclaim worldwide. HMV called him "the next big thing in Irish songwriting". Following a hiatus, he has just finished recording a new EP as a re-introduction. Which brings us to where we are today.
The EP quickly takes flight with “Older: a dynamic acoustic guitar driven groove that serves up steady rock rhythm against catchy vocal melodies and hooky chorus from O’Connor. Track 2 is hands down my personal favorite “Too Late” shifts gears with its smooth flowing beat, though provoking lyrical content and a grand slam chorus. Track 2 evolves into a solid rock groove with clever lyrical content and impressive vocal delivery - all in all an amazing piece. Track 3 “Over” is a hypnotic track with driving rock rhythm, impressive musical ambience, well placed harmonies and heartfelt vocal delivery from O’Connor. As the CD slowly unfolds I can hear many musical influences reminiscent of classic Elvis Costello, John Mayer, Keith Urban and perhaps a splash of Toad the Wet Sprocket, Jack Johnson . This EP sampler makes a pretty solid first impression. Right from the start you will notice rich musical textures and ambience overflowing everywhere, full of warmth, variety and strong melodic structure. I would classify this music as catchy power pop, rock, with a slight aftertaste of alternative rock. The songs themselves are addictive and upbeat, complete with positive, carefree subject matter. The musicianship is pretty solid across the board. Make no bones about it O’Conner has good production instincts and knows how to bring the passion and the production touches. Along the way you will notice lush layers of instrumentation layered everywhere. Besides the 4 piece standard you will also catch impressive things well placed rhythm guitar ambience, impressive rhythm section and well placed vocal harmonies. O’Connor’s voice works well across the board as he fills the sonic space peacefully and unobtrusively. I might add O’Connor brings allot of vocal passion to the table with powerful messages and inspiring lyrical content. All songs are compelling, feel good musical experiences. The EP teaser ends with Track 4 “Resistance” the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.
It’s hard to find any noticeable weaknesses with this EP sampler. Typically I deduct one star for EP releases. The full length release is the most complete snapshot of what an artists is capable of. If I could say anything to O’Connor – don’t be afraid to take a few more vocal risks here and there, especially at the end of some of your songs where a strong emotional finale presents itself nicely. When done right it will no doubt transform a good song into a legendary one. Just listen to the ending of “Don’t think I Don’t Think About It” by Daruis Rucker and you will hear exactly what I am talking about
These latest EP from Robert O’Connor is an impressive musical teaser. The music is consistent; the messages are upbeat, carefree and sung from a positive perspective. It’s strong suit – the wide musical variety and overall vocal passion from O’Connor. He possesses enough musical talent and songwriting prowess to be extremely dangerous. The musicianship is first rate. Once again the vocals, vocal harmonies and melodic accents are brilliantly placed and extremely well crafted. The messages are packed to the hilt with rich conventional wisdom offering hope and compassion. As a listener I was entertained the entire time. Robert O’Connor will not only make your day a brighter place, but will inspire you to get your hands of the full length release hopefully out this Summer.