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Lucid Dream (Bonus Track)

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Album Review

As a melodicist, Chicago singer/songwriter Carey Ott is in the Neil Finn school of low-key classicism; the songs on his debut album are resolutely tuneful but never blatantly hook-filled. Strong echoes of Paul McCartney regularly appear as well, most blatantly in "Mother Madam," and at his best, Ott is a worthy heir to both. First single "Am I Just One" (featured on a key episode of the medical drama Grey's Anatomy long before the album even came out) starts Lucid Dream off most encouragingly. Immediately, however, "Daylight" and "Hard to Change" sound unnervingly like carbon copies of each other. Throughout the rest of Lucid Dream, it becomes clear that Ott is working from a fairly limited set of songwriting and arrangement tricks: the upward modulation on the chorus, the shift into a slightly cracked falsetto at key points, the perfectly deployed handclaps. As a result, Lucid Dream has a somewhat workmanlike quality to it, one that rarely slips into the sense of effortlessness that a truly great melodic pop album has. It's a somewhat flawed, but nonetheless promising, debut.


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Hailing from Chicago, Carey Ott got his start in the mid-'90s with a band called Torben Floor. Backed by his brother Chris Ott on bass, Doug Sale on drums, and John Mooney on guitar, Ott gained a following on the Chicago club circuit for his pensive, confessional songs. Due in no small part to Ott's contributions (he wrote all of the band's songs), Torben Floor managed to snag gigs at popular festivals like SXSW and at clubs like Schubas, Doubledoor, and Metro. The band managed to release one album,...
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Lucid Dream (Bonus Track), Carey Ott
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