Over - Is This Growing Up?

Review by Seth Wood

I’ll admit that during the first few minutes of Over’s album, Is This Growing Up? I thought I was in for 40 minutes of juvenile, Paramore-wannabe music. It was all there—the energetic female singer, the thick-toned, two guitar attack, the high school song titles like “Growing Up” and “Sixteen.” I am very excited to tell you all that by the third song, I realized that Over has many nuances that separate them from every other band in the genre, and which make it explicitly clear that this Italian five-piece is comprised of very talented individuals who  have managed to put together a very full and captivating album. 

Right off the bat, I have to tell you how amazed I was with the secondary vocals. I realize that this seems like a very strange aspect of music to be emphasizing in a review, but I just cannot get over how much these vocals added to the music. In this case, I think that these subtle additions turned what may have been a pretty ordinary album into something much more respectable and enjoyable. There are so many things going on behind just lead singer Linda Battilani’s vocals: the expected-but-somehow-knock-you-on-your-ass-anyway harmonies coming from different members of the band, the screams, the chants…. I guess all I am trying to say is that there is a clear indication that this group really took their time to make their vocal arrangements as absolutely full as they could be, and it truly is a gift for the listeners. 

Aside from this particularly lurid strength in the album, the audience will notice how well the two guitarists intertwine their different parts seamlessly, that their drummer constantly finds ways the keep the energy of the song alive by changing beat styles and rhythms, and that there are some synth and dub-step kinds of sounds happening in the background that really help fill out what is already a very well-produced album. 

I really love when my initially negative judgments get proven wrong, and I do not know if I have ever experienced such a drastic change in my attitude towards a band quite like what I experienced while listening to Is This Growing Up?  This album is by no means a masterpiece or ingeniously creative, but it is a terrific piece of evidence that goes to show what an album can sound like when the musicians take their time and put everything into their songs that they possibly can. 

Rating: 4/5

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