Album Review: The Overtones – Higher (Warner Bros; 2012)

By Niamh Marley

The Overtones are probably the most aptly named group in music today.  New album “Higher” is both overworked and over polished.

At first glance, the track list is a fabulously fun time warp.  It insinuates transportation to a kitsch 50s diner where doo-wop is the order of the day.  Unfortunately it fails badly. “Reet Petite,” a personal favourite, suddenly sounded bland and tired. As for “Keep Me Hangin’ On”? Take our advice and ignore them until they let go.

Imagine a group of schoolboys who enter the school talent show, just for the craic. W

ill they set the world alight? Hell no. But you applaud their efforts. That’s a bit like this album. Doo-wop is supposed to have an element of raucousness and fluidity to it. “Higher” is rigid and constrained and, to be frank, boring. There’s nothing surprising about it – it’s just surprisingly bad.

When a band dubs themselves ‘the hottest male vocal harmony group’ in the market, you expect something a bit special, a bit different. Each track promises so much but delivers so little. It’s as if someone took the loveable and raw uniqueness of doo-wop and beat it to death. They have somehow managed to water this fabulous genre of music down to something utterly dreary.

The Overtones need to stick to matching white suits, getting-up-off-the-stool-at-the-key-change, Westlife type stuff and leave this normally charming genre to people who know better.