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April 12, 2004

{     Casper and the Cookies Oh!     }    

Casper and the Cookies' album _Oh!_ is like a soundtrack to a 70's children's program that never existed. Catchy lyrics about animals, imaginary friends, and the safest park in the world hint at any number of adventures, possibly with an important message about life or friendship at the end of the road. If the sounds of Casper and the Cookies reminds you of bands like Of Montreal, The Marshmallow Coast, or Olivia Tremor Control you shouldn't be terribly surprised. Hailing from Athens, GA America's source for intelligently cheerful pop sounds for years Casper and the Cookies collaborated with members (or former members as the case may be) of these bands in recording _Oh!_. The album is much in the same vein as fellow Athenian groups, i.e. strongly influenced by 1960's psychedelic pop. Casper and the Cookies' sound is relatively straightforward, as they shy away from dense layers of sound and noise or tempo changes. To the casual listener _Oh!_ may sound like relentlessly bright and happy. The mix of guitars, drums, and harmonium is an upbeat one. Casper's lyrics are considerably darker. Several of the tracks made me think of _69 Love Songs_ by The Magnetic Fields. Lyrically downright depressing, but accompanied by such catchy tunes it almost a sort of deception. Many of the songs are responses to real events. The titular track Oh! is built on a Cherokee wedding ceremony lead singer Jason NeSmith and bassist Kay Stanton found while researching vows for their wedding. Summer Spider is the result of a car crash that left NeSmith and Stanton stuck indoors while recovering. As I mentioned above this album would go perfect with a somewhat offbeat Saturday morning children's program from years past say something from Sid and Marty Krofft. The marriage of a combination of dark and whimsical subject matter with optimistic music hints at meetings with sometimes scary or devious creatures but a fairly happy ending as the credits roll. A show that would teach children how important it is not to lie or distrust their friends.

     » Official website
     » Buy the album from Happy Happy Birthday to Me Records

By Benjamin in Music

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