All Things Forgotten by Ophelia Syndrome
There are certain times in life where you fall in love with someone upon sight, but as you talk to them more, the love fades and you only “just” like them. Ophelia Syndrome is doing that to me with music. I am completely in love with Deanna Wells’ voice and I love the sound of the band. The songs themselves don’t hold much of an interest.
What sound is that? It’s that blend of rock and folk that seems to be growing in popularity on the indie scene. You’ll hear them and feel like you’ve heard this sound before, but won’t be able to put your finger on who – and that works in the bands favor. The problem is the songs themselves lack a certain buzz, a certain hook, or something to put them over the edge.
Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of good songs on the album, and plenty of moments that stick out as gorgeous pleasures to the ear. “Today” in particular is a very memorable jazzy track, and almost all the moments where the inter-gender harmonization happens get the songs closer to where a daydreaming fan would want them to be. But there’s something missing in the songwriting in about half the songs, for it is like they are trying to write catchy pop songs but forgetting to include the shine that makes us bite that bait.
All Things Forgotten is a well produced, well thought out, musically interesting, compelling release. Most of its songs are just fairly forgettable. This record gives me the impression that Ophelia Syndrome are one of those bands that you’d see live, be blown away, buy all of their albums and shirts at the merch stand. But then you’d get home from the show, and listen to the album, and be disappointed that the magic you felt simply wasn’t there. I know this band is capable of the magic, but it’s simply not on this record. It’s still a good album, though, and certainly worth checking out if you’re into the folk-rock of Akron/Family, the Spring Standards, or Sufjan Stevens. Maybe the next recording they have will have the shine I long for.
by Dan Bogosian