OH. (aka Olivia Hadjiioannou) EP Sleeping World: Review by Scott Brownstone
on July 28, 2013 in
Scott 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
Tuesdays: “The Circle of Fifths” 8 PM EST 1AM UK/GMT
Saturdays:”Saturday Flight Live” 1PM EST 6PM UK/GMT
Chat Room: http://chat.aiiradio.net/
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.
Multi-instrumentalist and director Olivia Hadjiioannou as the artist Oh. has been honored for her ingenuity, innovation and creativity in music and video with multiple international awards. She made her debut as Oh. on the international music scene with the award-winning music video, "Trials" in 2013 – cited as one of the 50 top events to mark Greece during the economic crisis. With the advances of immersive video, she released her single "Love of Avalanches", mentioned in Huffington Post as one of first 360-degree immersive VR videos released by a Greek artist on YouTube in 2016.
The music video "Red Lion" is presently a winner and official selection in 12 film festivals worldwide. Winner of Best Music Video award in the inaugural French Riviera Film Festival (FRFF) in Cannes, France. Winner Best Music Video at the Cosmocinema Film Festival in London. Winner of the Best Music Video Short in The Psychedelic and Transpersonal Film and Music Festival that took place on May 25, 2019 at The Producer’s Club in New York City. Winner Best Experimental Mixed Media Short Film at the Paleochora Lost World Short Film Festival in Southwestern Crete in Greece. Read more in her Bio and EPK
The EP “Metallia” has received over 32 reviews from 13 countries worldwide, is in top 10 progressive rock and metal charts and listed as one of the best albums of the year for 2018 on Metal Nation Radio.
“Metallia” by Oh. is an epical prog-metal composition in six parts. A multi-layered sonic piece of ravishing solo electric guitars, time-bending tempo shifts, grooving bass lines and deranged drums.
This instrumental progressive metal album will reveal its intricacies and hidden depths over time. It will extract from your mind pure visions, to mend your mental pictures, preen presumptions and to elicit an element of the unexpected…. because that is what will transmute your subliminal mind map into a remarkable blueprint which will lead you from wherever you are now, to wherever you want to be.
Available on Bandcamp