The Magic Treehouse

Take a good rest now for our journey will be an arduous one....

Take a good rest now for our journey will be an arduous one. The debut album by Liverpool-based [a]Ooberman[/a] is an expedition to a Palitoy world beyond the land of twee. A land of pastel-shaded splendour where the customary journalistic weapons of sarcasm and irony carry no weight. For some of us, be in no doubt, it’s a vision of hell.

For a band whose initial rush of interest came from the fact that keyboard player Sophia Churney burst into tears while reading a soppy poem on their 10,000-selling ‘Shorley Wall‘ EP, [a]Ooberman[/a]’s lack of hard edges should come as little surprise. That they have managed to smear this balm of innocence over the expanse of a whole album is an achievement that almost defies belief.

[a]Ooberman[/a]’s power as tunesmiths is blindingly apparent throughout with every track bulging with 14 layers of lush melody, from the crazed splendour of ‘Blossoms Falling‘ to the more sickly delights of ‘Tears From A Willow‘ and ‘Amazing In Bed‘. That in their quest for underused tunes they have delved so deep into pop’s Black Book, that you can hear echoes of the Electric Light Orchestra, The King’s Singers and The Moody Blues may yet see them confined to the same asylum for the musically insane as Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci and Jim O’Rourke.

The defining moments of madness on ‘The Magic Treehouse‘ are lyrical ones though, for this is an album which truly loves each and every one of us with every beat of its Barbie doll heart. Like some deranged Santa Claus – his brain bursting on the biggest Ecstasy high of his life – Danny Popplewell has lacquered every line with an inch-thick varnish of pure gush as he sings about talking to cows, being rolled in cotton and bringing much needed love to a nation of emotionally stunted science spods. M People by comparison sound like Skrewdriver.

As Popplewell coos in his incongruous Bradford accent at the climax of ‘Physics Disco‘: “With friends like us you’ll never be alone”. He means it too.

Cast out your cynical demons, then. The [a]Ooberman[/a]’s kingdom cometh.

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