Hello everybody! Today, I’m going to be talking about all my thoughts on Oh Wonder, the debut album by the band of the same name from a few years ago. A tweet from Ross reminded me that I’ve been meaning to listen to them for a while, and this has since become one of my most played albums of 2019 so far. Onto the post!
Livewire– I’m going to be honest, I don’t really like this much. It’s just so bland and forgettable that I’d struggle to quote you a couple of lines, and I’m the sort of person who picks up song lyrics annoyingly quickly if I listen to it more than once. I don’t find the instrumentals particularly interesting either. Definitely not a strong opener, which is a shame.
Body Gold– after the damp squib that is Livewire, Body Gold is a delight. It does exactly what Oh Wonder do best- it’s somehow both chill and intense, and it sounds SO great in the most subtle way. The verses set a great vibe of this love song about someone improving your life, the vocals in the chorus bring light to my life, the bridge is amazing and I think the instrumentals (which I’m pretty sure are synths, but not 100%) sound SO good in the bit of this where they’re super dramatic in sound. Also, shout out to Anthony’s backing vocals!
Technicolour Beat– Josephine’s voice sounds SO beautiful in this from the first line, and I’m a big fan of the harmonies come the chorus. It’s another love song, and I don’t adore it quite as much Body Gold, but the finger snaps and beautiful vocals/lyrics make it a super solid, enjoyable addition to the album.
Drive– this was one of the only songs I actually knew already before I listened to the album fully, and I obviously liked it enough to want to listen to an album from the artist, which tells you a fair bit straight off the bat! It’s the first break up type song we hear on this album, and it’s SO brilliant. The verses are a little slow, but I still love them (the pop culture references are especially fun) and the lyrics are really great (with the exception of one in the bridge that makes me cringe every time- “I remember all the times you made me covered in crazy”). The breathy chorus vocals would make me forgive this song any sin though, so it’s still an absolute fave regardless.
Lose It– so, this is my absolute fave of the album and I am going to try very hard not to be rambly about it. It’s about two people dancing together, and that sounds a bit odd I’ll give you, but give it a listen and I bet you’ll fall for it just as much as me. First up, the lyrics are beautiful and perfectly sung- the imagery is SO gorgeous. Obsessed. Secondly, can we talk about the instrumentals here? Pianos and horns in one song should not work, but it seriously does here. AND there are more finger snaps (I’m so easy to please, give me finger snaps and I will like your song more immediately. I think this obsession stems from the fact I am atrocious at snapping my fingers…). Finally, it gets extra points for the sultry vibe this has; it suits it so well.
Landslide– this is another favourite for me, and it makes me cry a lot. It’s someone telling someone else they’ll always be there for them, and I first heard it on a day where I really needed someone singing that to me- it was very soothing then and I think it’ll be a constant go to song for me on those sorts of days from here on in.
White Blood– this one is about someone feeling abandoned after someone told them they’d always be there for them (edit: since writing this I’ve discoveredit’s not a metaphor and is actually about a medical issue, which makes it even more impactful) and while I didn’t like it when I first listened, it’s really grown on me since. It’s so simple and beautiful and sad, and I like it a LOT now.
Without You– first up, the piano melody at the beginning is life, I love it and it’s so great. Also, I have a real soft spot for songs that try and trick you as to their meaning by doing the opposite sonically, and this is a spectacular example of that. White Blood very much sounds like a break up song, but this one is also about feeling lonely without someone and until you properly think about the lyrics you wouldn’t know because it sounds so cheerful. Big fan of this!
The Rain– this is quite similar in topic to White Blood and Without You, but it feels super forgettable for me. Like with Livewire, I just forget it exists. There’s nothing overtly bad about it, but nothing overtly good either.
Dazzle– LOVE this one. It’s a LOT of fun, and I just enjoy listening to it. A more specific reason for this is that it’s great to hear Anthony a little bit more prominently throughout it, and also it has both an excellent pre-chorus and bridge, which I am an absolute sucker for in a song.
All We Do– this is the other song I knew before I properly listened to the album, and I’ve always loved it since I first heard it on the opening theme to Unforgotten. It’s a song about feeling hopeless and like you can’t accomplish anything, and it is perfect and beautiful and achingly sad. Simple in terms of lyrics and structure, given how much repetition there is, but undeniably effective and hard-hitting in message. It’s absolutely stunning.
Midnight Moon- I adore this song. It’s so catchy and fun, with a great pace throughout, an amazing pre-chorus and a chorus that properly backs it up (I have no idea if this makes any sense outwith my brain, but sometimes I find choruses a let down after a great pre-chorus). I don’t like the instrumental section though, and I could take or leave the bridge tbh.
Shark- this song is about someone basically asking someone if they’re in the relationship quite as much as they are, which is not what I’d expected from a song with this title, but I’m a BIG fan. It’s another super catchy one, and the vocals are just so great. I love the drums too, and pairing them with piano works weirdly well. Oh Wonder seem to have a real knack for making stuff that shouldn’t work make sound spectacular.
Heart Hope- I can’t quite work out what this song is, but I think it’s about looking for a bit of hope in an ever changing world, and it’s really delicate and lovely. I feel quite similarly about this as I do Technicolour Beat; it’s objectively a good song and I like it, but it’s not a standout of the album.
Plans- this is a stellar closer. It has really cool instrumentals (feat finger snaps, no less!) And the melody is one of my favourites of the album. It’s about trying to get back yo someone and it’s such a lovely, slightly unusual take on a love song. Josephine’s voice is just exceptional on it as well. I mean, it always is, but especially so. And the harmonies in the chorus are major heart eyes.
Are you a fan of this album/Oh Wonder? What’s your favourite song from them? I’d love to hear in the comments!