I'm all about giving groups another chance even if I didn't really care for their first album, but about half the time that I do, I just end up feeling a bit silly for doing it. Although I know that things probably haven't changed and that it probably still won't be something that I listen to a lot, I get these hopes that groups I just sort of liked will take those elements that I did find appealing and somehow roll with them, moving into territory that puts them higher on my list.
Olive is not one of those groups and although I didn't think that they would somehow get edgier from their first release (Extra Virgin) to this one, there were a few things that sort of threw me off. One of these was the appearences of both Robin Guthrie (formerly of the Cocteau Twins) and Vini Reilly (of the Durutti Column), but I also should have taken to heart that they had switched labels to Maverick as a not so good sign.
Don't get me wrong, it's not that I completely dislike this album. Once again, the music is pretty flawlessly constructed and while their isn't anything really groundbreaking going on within it, there are some musical hooks that will pull you in a bit and singer Ruth-Ann has the radio-friendly range down whether she's singing on the spaced-out blipping "Push" or the drum and bass infused cover of "I'm Not In Love." Most of the tracks on the disc work sort of a mid-tempo groove, while some of them pull some quiet elements of other genres (like the aforementioned touch of drum and bass and breakbeats) and lyrics pretty much focus on relationships, love, etc. It's all very nice if you're in the mood for it, but it doesn't really push any boundaries. Even the musicians that I mentioned as influences in helping me to pick up this release aren't really used to their full potential unfortunately.
If you like artists like Dido or the previous effort by Olive, you're probably not going to go wrong. It's nice and trip-poppy and even fans of the genre-hopper Madonna would probably even find something to enjoy here. You could definitely do a lot worse, but you could also easily find better.