June 12, 2013 Oleander – Something Beautiful (Album Review)
Everyone remembers the rock band Oleander right? Hailing from Sacramento California, Oleander drew a lot of attention back in the early 2000’s. The band released their debut album Shrinking The Blob in 1997 followed up with arguably their most popular album February Son in 1999. February Son spawned hard rock radio anthems “Why I’m Here” and ” I Walk Alone”. In 2001 the band released Unwind which gave rock fans the powerful hit “Are You There?”. If you are a rock fan you are sure to remember these killer tracks. In 2003 the band released Joyride, an enjoyable listen with tracks such as “Runaway Train” and “Hands Off The Wheel”. Unfortunately, the album was not commercially a success and Oleander all but vanished in 2004. Almost a decade later the guys have resurrected Oleander and bring eager fans the new album Something Beautiful.
If you are a fan of Oleander you know these guys have always written quality hard rock with lyrics that come straight from the heart with a positive message. A decade removed from making an album together one would question what the chemistry would be like for the band going into recording a new album. Something Beautiful proudly answers those questions with a refreshing piece of rock n roll bliss. “Fight” leads off the album with enough energy to let you know this reunion is not for nostalgic reasons and these guys are ready to rock. The track was original released in 2011 and is the perfect lead into the album.
The band’s newest single “Something Beautiful” is the 2nd track on the album. With melody and inspiring lyrics the song is just the type of rock radio needs. “Bulletproof” is a wonderful balanced rock track which draws the listener in. Thomas Flowers voice sounds as great as it did a decade ago and this is a offering Oleander fans will love. “Never Too Late” is a adrenaline driven track with the ever so up lifting lyrics Oleander consistently supplies. The message is that it’s never too late to resolve issues in your life and find happiness. A great song which should be the next single off the album. “Save Me” is another track which sounds like Oleander picked up exactly where they left off with Joyride, and that is without a doubt a good thing.
“Your Are The One” is a lovely alternative rock track which can easily be heard on multiple rock platforms. The track has just enough pop sense, melody and edge to satisfy all. The band shows maturity and insight with “Where Do We Do We Go From Here”. With honest and pure lyrics complimented with an array of layered vocals keeping the song interest for its duration. The album closes out with possibly the best track of all “How Do We Say Goodbye”. You will find yourself enchanted by the guitar melodies and the sweet sorrowful singing of Flowers. The track is a deep reflection on life’s regrets, frustrations, and everything in between. One of the hardest things to do in life is to let go and Oleander has managed to paint a perfect picture of these emotions here.
Something Beautiful is possibly one of the most refreshing rock albums in years. A perfect balance of heaviness, melody, and thought provoking lyrics. Flowers and company have not skipped a beat in 10 years apart. The band’s chemistry is most definitely still here. In a music industry over saturated with sound alike rock n roll Something Beautiful offers something more. One can only hope this is the beginning of a new journey for Oleander, because modern rock can use more bands like this. CrypticRock give this album 5 out of 5 stars.