MP3 The Oohs - Ear Candy
The first disc from these Beatlesque melodic popsters featuring their distinctive four-part harmonies.
13 MP3 Songs
POP: Beatles-pop, POP: Power Pop
"If the producers of ''That ''70s Show'' were serious about re-creating that magical musical era, they should have enlisted the assistance of Brian Curtis, Brian Cutright, Frank Huston & Steve Kelton a.k.a. The Oohs! Everything (and I do mean everything) that you ever loved about the pop music of the Seventies is accurately and headily evoked in this 13-track labor of love that lives up to its chosen name. There is so much to savor on Ear Candy - the spine tingling four-part harmonies; the first class musicianship; the spot on instrumental inflections and of course, tunes to overdose on. And that last element is the key to why Ear Candy ultimately works. Even if you want to argue the ''retro'' accusations or ''derivative'' angles, you just cannot object to fine melodies (if you do, what are you doing reading this review at this particular site, huh?) But if its references you need my pop-loving friend, how about the Raspberries, Queen, ELO, Utopia, Supertramp, Styx, Journey, Steve Miller Band, Wings, Steely Dan, Beach Boys, The Who and Pink Floyd? The Oohs have their pulse on what makes 70s pop-rock tick, whether it be synth-driven harmonic guitar-fueled rockers (One ''n'' the Same, Baby''s Going Out Tonight, Head Above Water & Summer Sun) or authentic heartfelt ballads (O.K. With That & Alice) or even slinky jazzy numbers (Placebo, Person Place Or Thing & Femail). Of the new millennium''s modern poppers, perhaps only the likes of Doug Powell & Sloan may be able to match up to The Oohs'' uncanny 70s songcraft. Treat yourself to some Ear Candy now. (8)
KEVIN MATHEWS, THE POWER OF POP (November 2000)
"The Oohs have brought some California sunshine and a late-70''s light power-pop sound to Springfield, Illinois. (Rumors that the Abraham Lincoln statue in front of the state capital building is now wearing a skinny tie have yet to be confirmed). The band is keyed by splendid four-part harmonies, mixing two parts Rubinoos with one part Jellyfish for an organically slick (or is it slickly organic?) vocal blend, Frank Huston''s creative lead guitar work and Brian Curtis''s omnipresent retro keyboard stylings. One of the most impressive things about The Oohs is that despite their obvious ability to dazzle, they use their flashy style to give their frothy music more substance, and avoid the temptation to show off. Moreover, all four Oohs write and sing lead, and display a common sensibility that makes for a cohesive effort. About half of the songs on this album could be slipped into an old Rhino D.I.Y. Powerpop compilation (shades of substituting real coffee with Folger''s crystals!) and experienced pop fans would be none the wiser. ''Victim Of The Night Time World'' has one of those intros that promises everything -- an urgent repeated guitar note traveling in lockstep with drummer Steve Kelton and bassist Brian Cutright, with Curtis dabbing on some keyboard flourishes - and delivers a song that contains about four distinct melodic ideas that could each sustain a good pop song, flowing together into a veritable hookfest. A couple other numbers blend in a little Cheap Trick vibe to the mix. ''One ''n'' The Same'' reworks the ''Baby Loves To Rock'' riff, while ''Baby''s Going Out Tonight'' is a musical cousin to ''Say Goodbye'' in the verses. ''Placebo'' is a refreshing change of pace, with Curtis getting a little jazzy and funky on the keys and the band following suit, laying down a nice groove. And for those of you who missed the Burnt Marshmallows & Teeny Bikinis compilation, the instant classic ''Summer Sun'' makes an appearance here - it has a hyper-catchy beach music chorus, and throws in an unexpected downward chord change at the end that kills me every time I hear it. If you have a large sweet tooth, then Ear Candy might just be the right flavor."
MIKE BENNETT, https://www.tradebit.com (December 2000)
"All four Oohs can handle lead vocals, but when they sing in unison (as they do most often), words like ''Jellyfish'' and ''Queen'' and ''ELO'' immediately jump to mind. But I hear roots much deeper than that in their songwriting. Remember when you looked back on singles from the 1960s and discovered how adroitly they balanced lust and innocence? Check out how the vocals explode along with the subject matter in ''Baby''s Going Out Tonight.'' Listen to the words inside the sunny music, especially on ''Alice'' (''Alice can sing/and she can dance/someday she''ll make romance...''), and you''ll realize that the art of creating clever songs is alive and well. Sure, ''Alice'' can trace its musical roots all the way back to the Bee Gees'' ''Spicks And Specks,'' but the majestic arrangement and signature shifts prove that The Oohs are not going to settle for the easy (retro) way out. Listen to the vocals s-l-i-d-e together in perfect harmony, the bells chiming in the background, the way the drums seem to carry the song, but then it''s the keyboard...no, wait, it''s the guitar line...as the song fades, you want more and you want it now. And, seconds later, you get what you need as it sweeps back in. ''Summer Sun'' even borrows the essence of The Four Seasons'' street-corner savvy to accentuate the pitch-perfect vocals (the acoustic version proves that this is not done with mirrors, by the way). ''Head Above Water,'' dodging the logical chord progressions for something more inventive, firmly exposes the Rundgren influence the band enjoys, right down to that synth solo (where have you gone, Roger Powell?). Calling this collection Sing Along With The Oohs would not be far from the mark, as you will find yourself doing just that. One more thing about all this name-dropping - the fact that the same band names will jump into your mind is testament to the small number of bands who have been able to pull these arrangements off live. Savor the experience."
BILL HOLMES (October 2000)