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CD REVIEW

Mike Gordon: OGOGO

by Mike Ayers on October 10, 2017


What do you want in a Phish side project? Something different or something that exists in the band’s world? Over the years, Mike Gordon has straddled those lines fairly well, and on his fifth studio album OGOGO, balance, in the literal sense, is key. The album’s groovy opener “Equilibrium” kicks things off with that notion, where Gordon simply ponders being off-kilter and a desire to live in that state of physical balance. On the bouncy “Steps,” he sings about someone going against the grain, asking “how do you walk down steps when everyone else is going up?” And on the driving, ethereal arrangement of “Pendulum,” Gordon seems to be apologizing, as he sings, “Thank you for not judging what I did/ and keeping me from going beyond.” Phish fans will also recognize two OGOGO songs that found their way into the band’s summer 2017 tour—“Crazy Sometimes,” an uptempo, scattered sounding number, and the reggae-tinged “Marissa.” They both could easily be welcomed into the band’s rotation. But probably the biggest thing you’ll notice when listening to OGOGO is that the music sounds much more rooted in indie-rock, say, in the vein of the bass-heavy, angular world of Spoon. Gordon teamed up with producer Shawn Everett, known for his work with Weezer and The Strokes’ Julian Casablancas, resulting in punchy, short numbers, with many clocking in at just over two or three minutes. Compact suits him well, too. Gordon’s always been a shapeshifter, so this shouldn’t be too a big of a surprise.
Authors: Mike Ayers
Artist: Mike Gordon
Album: OGOGO
Label: MEGAPLUM/ATO

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