Years later, album for last review resonates

In the midst of today’s ever growing musical world, it can be hard to find anything; sometimes people don’t even know where to begin. While this may not show you every song, album or EP that you’d ever dream of hearing, let this inspire you to search and dive into the infinitely deep hole that is the modern music world.

Giving a forewarning now, there is talk of depression and suicide within this review, and it gets very personal. With this being my last review I’m likely to post on CF Hi-Line, I wanted to cover an album special to me, a really special album. When I was nearing the end of my middle school career, I got into Weezer a lot, Pinkerton and the Blue Album were my favorites, but this isn’t about Weezer; this is about a band that played with them a couple of times in the past that now no longer really releases work, OZMA. 

OZMA is a garage rock band out of Pasadena, Calif. The band consists of Ryen Sleger on vocals and guitar, with Jose Gravels also doing guitar and vocal work, drummer Patrick Edwards and Daniel Drummel also doing vocals and bass. It’s hard to say this band is really anything new: the garage rock aesthetic existed before, and as stated before, they played with Weezer on occasion, so their history with other garage bands should be blatantly obvious.

I could go song by song, but this isn’t much of a concept album, though it does have some overarching themes, a borderline that people exist on being something brought up at least twice. Instead I wanted to talk about a few songs truly special to me. “Gameover” is a corny love letter to video gaming and nerd culture, bringing in electronic sounds to give it more of a digital feel. “Light Years Will Burn” is more about being lost, leaving everything behind, but finding yourself right back where you started, essentially doing one big loop when trying to leave your old life behind. “Utsukushii Shibuya,” translating to Beautiful Shibuya, is a pretty sad song about the singer trying to relay his feelings of love to a girl, but he alway repeats in the chorus that “You’ll never know,” and at the end of the song they said goodbye, remarking that the singer at that moment really wanted to tell their feelings. 

Finally, the song that means the most to me, “Restart,” a song about a near suicide experience but coming back. Throughout the whole song the singer is talking about hearing that there’s a view three stories up, referring to seeing the horizon when standing on the edge of a roof. In verse three, the singer is now on the edge, able to see to the ocean. It also hints at this person’s potential regret, saying that they wish they could be there for someone. Another connection throughout the song is a debt the person has in their heart, possibly a mix of feelings, regret, depression or the like. The final chorus has the singer on the edge, having the best view possible. The final lyrics can be interpreted in different ways depending on how positive or negative you are. It talks about finally paying off the debt in their heart, either meaning they backed off and felt free, or stepped forward and let themselves go, freeing themselves in a way. I choose to see this song positively, seeing as it’s not the last song on the album.

I won’t lie or sugarcoat anything when I listened to this album back in middle school. I was dealing with a lot of depression issues and even some suicidal thoughts. I had already felt like my life was over, like I didn’t have anything I could actually accomplish in life. I thought I was a burden to my friends. But listening to this made me actually stop and think about it, seeing the edge, seeing the view, and I came to the conclusion that it would be a waste to throw life away. I thought that it was all too beautiful to just throw away, so I chose to walk away with a fresh perspective. I gave myself a full restart.

Now despite how personal this album is to me, I’m only giving it a 6/10. Some of its songs are amazing while some leave a bit to be desired. None are bad, just forgettable, but it’s made up by my unforgettable experience with this album.

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