Alive Records (0095-2)
Sure, “Ida Red” and “Calling All Around,” the tracks that bookend Brian Olive, rock and roll in best R&B style, but the Stax-y brass and wisps of psychedelia give the tracks an unusual twist. Retro in style, but thoroughly original in sound, Brian Olive doesn’t so much resurrect Sixties R&B as totally reinvent it. His influences are numerous and diverse – The Beatles, The Stones (Rolling and Roses), Chuck Berry, John Lee Hooker, Stax soul, glamrock, and dreampop. “There Is Love,” for example, is blues filtered through the latter genre, “Jubilee Line” wafts psychedelia through the Stax studio, while “High Low” floods the delta with jazzy brass and big band beats.
Of course, Brian Olive isn’t the first to stitch genres together, they are, however, one of the few to sew them together seamlessly. Their music sounds so totally natural you can walk away from Brian Olive believing that psychedelia, blues, R&B and soul were always intertwined and natural bed-fellows. Reshaping the past, the album presents an alternate musical history where linear evolution is replaced by spontaneous genesis, and what a wonderful creation it is. - Jo-Ann Greene / Goldmine