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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Ozma
Pasadena
About A Girl

Rating: 8.5/10 ?


May 14, 2007
Historically, Ozma were dubbed the heir apparent to Weezer, some having gone so far as to label them Weezer clones. In 2003, following the release of their third album, Spending Time On The Borderline, Ozma broke up, leaving many fans who appreciated their Weezeresque sound befuddled and shaken. By that point Weezer had delivered two post-Pinkerton chunks of mediocrity and made it clear that, in lieu of breaking up, they were content to cash checks for their radio-friendly, run-of-the-mill rock. And so it was that no one was left to carry the torch that Weezer had initially lit.

Now, in a move appropriate to the times, Ozma have reunited. Unlike the scores of other reformed acts however, they have not lost a step with Pasadena, an album named after the quintet's home town and that marks a strong return to form. With Weezer having certifiably lost touch with what made them great, Ozma is not simply an imitation, but a torch-bearing band unto themselves.

Themes of pining for women run throughout the album, which makes the album more similar to Rock and Roll Part Three than any of their other past releases. Fans of the band's back catalog might be disappointed that two songs - "No One Needs to Know" from The Doubble Donkey Disc and "Eponine" from Spending Time On The Borderline - have been rerecorded for Pasadena. The resurrection of those two tracks is most likely on their strength as potential singles, which is an odd move in itself, as Pasadena is certainly not lacking standout tracks; most songs could easily find themselves on the local rock station.

Aside from the anomalous culling of previously released tracks, there are a lot of new things going on for Ozma with this release. Star Wick's keyboard work is haunting (see the beginning of "Barriers" and "Motorology 3:39") in a way it wasn't before, and other tracks are outright driven by her playing. Wick also sings one of the lead vocal parts on "Heartache vs Heartbreak," a refreshing change that blends well with bassist Daniel Brummel's vocal delivery.

For anyone cringing at the thought of another half-hearted cash grab reunion disc, rest assured that Pasadena finds Ozma picking up right where they left off. Catchy driving melodies and themes of loss abound, and anyone who misses the Weezer of old (or happen to simply be fans of Ozma) will appreciate the experience of this altogether enjoyable listen. This is one reunited band that I wouldn't mind seeing stay together for a spell.

Reviewed by Nate Logan
Hailing from Indianapolis, Indiana, Nate Logan is a contributing writer to LAS who will be going to Minnesota in the fall to pursue a MFA in poetry. He hopes to develop some weird accent as a result of his time in the North.

See other reviews by Nate Logan

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