Elegant, beautiful, rich, romantic, compelling, breathtaking. These are some of the words that I would use to describe Tamer Animals, the sophomore release by Other Lives. I must admit, I rarely write music reviews, and usually only when I photograph the bands and an editor wants copy to go along. But this band impressed me so much I had to write a review. On one hand, I really don't want to write this because I want to keep them to myself. It's like a really great bar you don't want to tell everyone about because then all the douche bags will start going. But then again, you don't want the bar to go out of business. This is how I feel about Other Lives. But I really think this band is so amazing that it deserves to be listened to, so I'll share.
My two favorite songs on their new album, Tamer Animals, are "Tamer Animals" and "Dust Bowl III." "Dust Bowl III" is one of the most haunting, melodic, soulful songs I've ever heard. It's like stepping into a warm bath: once you are in, you immediately relax and all of your worries melt away. That's how I feel when I listen to this song. Jesse Tabish is one hell of a singer. His voice is both meditative and soothing. Haunting and dreamy. Every time I listen to him sing, all my stress seems to melt away. This song is a rich dream scape of compelling melodies that will not let you go. You will want to keep listening to it over and over again.
"Tamer Animals" is also an amazing song. I love some of the lyrics on this song, for example: "Oh living for the city, it's always troubling." You just summed up how I feel all of the time. The one word that comes to mind every time I hear this song is "ethereal." It's just ethereal and beautiful. The arrangement is so full of lush sounds and rich melodies that it blows me away every time I hear it. I've heard the song at least 100 times now and I still say, "Wow!"
The rest of the album is great as well. Songs such as "Dark Horse" are graceful and all encompassing. You feel like you are in this great concert hall filled with a whole symphony. The mixture of instruments used is is truly eclectic. Bass clarinet, guitars, bassoons and other instruments come together on these tunes to create an epic dream that you don't want to wake from. "Landforms" is another example of the dream-like symphony these guys have put together.
Who knew Stillwater, Oklahoma could put out such a musical inspiration? These guys are amazing. Do yourself and go get this album. You won't be disappointed.