OH. (aka Olivia Hadjiioannou) EP Sleeping World: Review by Scott Brownstone
by on July 28, 2013 in DJ's Reviews

indexScott Brownstone, Aiir_Geezer on Aiiradio.net, wrote a wonderful review of the EP “Sleeping World”.

Scott is a classically trained musician, freelance bassist and was a founding member of the Heavy Metal band “Crimson Steel” and the progressive rock band “Nemesis”.

He plays a variety of genres of music on his radio shows, “The Circle of Fifths” and “Saturday Flight Live.”

The review of the EP “Sleeping World” on Amazon.com

“The Art of music personified….literally. This EP is truly progressive and I say this without any caveat. I have listened to this 24 minute, six track composition many times and still have found no valid comparison to anything I am familiar with. It was a difficult process to deliberately put aside the fact the Olivia Hadjiioannou plays each instrument, is responsible for all vocals, composed and produced everything including the video. I did this so that I could focus on the music only. In so doing, I was able to finally write this review.

The character and spirit of this remarkable young artist is evident in every moment of her debut EP. The vocals are so compelling and ethereal that they give me goosebumps. The emotion and raw talent that can be clearly heard throughout each and every track are unforgettable.

This EP is very insightful. It brings to light the socioeconomic issues in Greece (and the world) and it’s rippling effect on the hopes and dreams of young people everywhere. It is presented in a compelling, yet tongue-in-cheek way.

Some may find it too subtle to notice through the beauty of the music that there is a real message here. Perhaps as a sarcastic person myself… I quickly picked up on the political and social message contained within the magical music. It doesn’t come through as a diatribe and can easily be missed. Please consider taking the time to listen more than once and all the way through these six tracks.

Understanding the meaning may not be terribly important to all listeners and that is a non issue. I do not prefer any music that forces a listener to swallow the artists “message”. I will not give examples to be polite to these artists; however, it is like a breath of fresh air to be able to enjoy this message whether you agree or not. The seriousness of the issues never intrudes on the beauty of the music. It is also so expressive emotionally that I have found it difficult not to go back to again and again.

A track by track breakdown will not help anyone reading this so I will again remind you that you should use your “prog” heads… listen to it as a 24 minute piece as is normally expected for “prog” tracks instead of ignoring this debut based solely on the short length of each track. This is not pop, jazz, rock, blues or anything else, but OH. My dislike of pigeon holing is obvious. I believe it’s unfortunate that the industry still requires it. Whether it be for marketing or reviewing purposes.

“It is time to take down the walls around our hearts and minds”… is what I hear in the music and the soul behind it. I am actually much more hopeful about the future of music and society thanks to OH’s EP. I am so rarely uplifted and truly moved by music that I feel that I have received a gift that will stay with me forever.

As a musician and fan of music I feel obligated to discuss my opinions in that regard as well. It is apparent to me that OH has mastered each sound that you hear. Each tracks’ individual tracks are easy for a musical ear to separate in their head and from that perspective I can assure you that it is completely flawless. The vocal range and quality, the enchanting and varying guitar techniques, the fantastic rhythms and melodic bass riffs combine to make each track a musical journey. The use of 4/4 time proves to me that random time signature changes and funny noises are not what makes music progressive. “Prog” as it is labeled and thought of today has unfortunately become a desire to copy instead of to truly progress. Almost every “prog” artist wants to be the next [insert artist here], yet claims to be progressive. Even their own press is presented in a hypocritical and phony way ie: ‘so and so’s’ new CD is the best new prog album/artist ever … and in the same breath …. they are the next ‘such and such’ artist/group.

Although I too can play a plethora of instruments … I am still blown away when someone has truly mastered each one. If you can find a clear list of musical influences on OH’s EP then please tell me. Otherwise I will have to find a way to ask OH myself. As a fan I am interested, but if I had to guess.. I would say that OH has always loved to play music more than listening to it. She has not had the time to be influenced because she has never had the need to devour it. I believe that from a very young age… Olivia has managed to avoid most if not all of the mainstream influences. This is what the world needs more of. Young people who want to do something about real world issues as opposed to complaining about and accepting the status quo. It is my hope that we will hear much more from OH very soon and that others, both young and old, can follow in her footsteps so that the world can become a better place for all.

Aiir_Geezer’s shows on Aiiradio.net

Shows times:

Tuesdays: “The Circle of Fifths” 8 PM EST 1AM UK/GMT

Saturdays:”Saturday Flight Live” 1PM EST 6PM UK/GMT

On: http://aiiradio.net/

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Thank you Scott – not only for this wonderful review – but for describing my music as I meant for people to see it and you expressed it so eloquently in words.

 

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