MP3 John O'Brien - Real Life
Quirky, catchy, poppy, and rootsy singer-songwriter stuff, in the mold of Elvis Costello, Jeff Tweedy, and Rhett Miller.
10 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Americana, POP: Power Pop
"Wonderful stuff, especially "Elvis'' Boys," which gets deeper and more painful with every chorus. Terrific singing. Thanks for letting me hear it."
-- Greil Marcus
"John O''Brien''s specialty is honest, bittersweet quirk-pop that speaks to the thirteen-year-old in all of us, the one who swore the world would end when a crush went sour and lived their life by a song...O''Brien is able to find the poetry in the everyday, the disappointments and the minute pleasures that are, in and of themselves, life but that, as adults, we''re just too busy to notice."
-- SF Examiner
"We must admit that John O''Brien''s hand written cover letter first sparked our interest because he mentioned that his current band consists of members of Creeper Lagoon, MK Ultra, Court and Spark, and The Mother Hips. But the hip connections aren''t what made us decide to review the disc. It was, instead, the music contained on this highly entertaining and rewarding album. We are suckers for pure and sincere pop...and that is precisely what Real Life is all about. In Mr. O''Brien''s publicity photo he appears to be just an average guy...but he is, in fact, a compelling and impressive singer/songwriter. The thirteen tracks on this album offer personal glimpses into this man''s mind. He writes about topics in such a way that the listener can''t help but be drawn in. The melodies featured in these tunes are absolutely fantastic. We found ourselves humming along on the very first spin. Hundreds of independent releases are submitted to our offices each month...but rarely do we hear a self-produced project of such a high caliber as this. Mr. O''Brien sounds something like a more soft, subtle, subdued, and straightforward Scott Miller (of Game Theory)...or even a calmer version of Austin''s wonderful (yet underrated) Silver Scooter. This guy''s style is direct and real....and his music is a refreshing blast of fresh air. Top picks: "Real Life," "Doc Marten Dreams," "Bottle on the Table (Prozac)," "High Wire." Rating: 5+ (out of 6)
"John O''Brien delivers infectious melodies and witty lyrics...tight guitar pop that''s distinctly untrendy...sweet, hummable little gems from right before the age of corrosive sarcasm."
-- SF Bay Guardian
"John O''Brien has the kind of voice I wish I had. He also has the plucky confidence to belt out the sort of appealing lyrics and unforgettable melodies that could inspire competing songwriters to hire a hitman to take him out. John, you''ve been warned."
-- Splendid Ezine
"strong songwriting and an excellent grasp of melody...tight and infectious...clearly O''Brien has the knack for writing a good song...definitely worth keeping an eye on."
-- Delusions of Adequacy
"A Top 12 DIY Pick...O''Brien''s EP Highdivers is refreshing in its humor and truthfulness...tussles with influences ranging from Camper Van Beethoven and the Beatles to the Dead Milkmen and Talking Heads...a cohesive and impressive record."
-- Performing Songwriter
John O''Brien is a melodic, quirky, and highly original indie singer-songwriter. Drawing from indie rock, 60s pop, American folk, 80s New Wave, and alt-country, O''Brien crafts songs that portray the heartbreaking reality of modern life and the redeeming power of human relationships. Whether he''s lamenting a lost friendship, as in "Elvis'' Boys," comparing his own psychological pitfalls to the missteps of the Scooby Doo gang, like in "Ghost Projection Machine," or simply celebrating love found, like in "Real Life," O''Brien''s songs are rife with artistic originality, lyrical wit, and melodic strength. O''Brien performs both as a solo acoustic act and with a backing band.
O''Brien has been based in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1998, and he performs regularly at Cafe Du Nord''s Monday Night Hoot, the Make Out Room, the Hotel Utah, and the Bazaar Cafe. Within the past two years, he has toured the East Coast and Ireland. O''Brien has been featured and reviewed in the San Francisco Bay Guardian and Performing Songwiter Magazine, where his EP Highdivers was named a top 12 DIY pick in 2001, as well as in various ezines including Splendid and Delusions of Adequacy. John''s original song "September 13" was chosen for the 2002 compilation CD, The Canvas Remembers September 11.
O''Brien''s long-awaited full length debut, Real Life will be released in June 2003. Produced by Marwan Kanafani of Freewheeler Studios (and Fojimoto), the record will feature highly arranged, full-band versions of 10 of O''Brien''s best songs, including "She''s Got a Sound," "Elvis'' Boys," "Ghost Projection Machine," and "Doc Marten Dreams." The CD will be available online at CD Baby, in local stores, and at shows. Following the release of the record, O''Brien will hit the road in July to bring his tunes to various East Coast venues. Check out https://www.tradebit.com for details.