If there were ever a duo I would even consider CLOSE to resembling one of my favorite artists/duos (Daft Punk) of all time, it’s these two guys: Vaughn Oliver and Oliver Goldstein. Both of whom form the aptly-named duo, Oliver. If you’re not familiar with these two, then definitely keep your eye on them, because this album is the beginning of a new era for Nu Disco, Nu Funk, and Electronica. You may have already heard some of their previous singles these past few years such as, “Electrify” or “Move Your Body” (which Tchami has done a very good remix of). This is an album that has a lot of sides to it, so let’s dig into it!
“Portrait” starts off the album on a quiet intro, but “Ottomatic” ramps things up and easily throws you straight into an 80s journey that will traverse your mind with nostalgia. The sheer beat and breakdown within “Ottomatic” make it one of my top 3 favorite songs of the album. “Chemicals” follows it up with some feel-good vibes that will surely make the chemicals in your brain react in positive ways. It’s also clear that this album reflects love in multiple ways, and “Love Like This” definitely proves that with it’s Nu Funk/Disco style. This is easily a radio ready song that I hope to hear on the Houston airwaves sometime soon.
“Last Forever” is a song that makes you think of time when you’re with someone you love being with, and you never want that day to end. It also sounds very much like a song crafted by Daft Punk themselves, but this is Oliver after all. The last 30 seconds are so beautiful and chill. “Heart Attack” earns its spot in my heart as the 2nd song on this album. De La Soul lend their talents to this Discotech/hip-hop-infused track and the use of the vocoder for some of the vocals really pays tribute to the robots. “One” marks the halfway point within the album, and prepares us for the next half of our interstellar 80s ride.
“Space & Sound” kicks off with vocals that really make you feel like you’re in space in a way. It’s a very good song to drive to as you look at a city skyline. “Falling Back” seems like a song you’d hear when watching Stranger Things, but it fits well at this point in the album since it recalls another familiar theme of love. I couldn’t be happier than to find out Chromeo were featured on a track from this album, and “Go With It” really does a good job combining both Chromeo’s and Oliver’s style perfectly. This song is match-made for those who sometimes need to let things happen, or who just need to go with the flow. “Wherever We Are” slows things down for a more personal feeling, yet it still makes a huge impact for those who need a feels check.
The 3rd and final song that reaches my top favs is “Electrify”, it gives off that good feeling that just makes you wanna groove to the beat. You can bob your head, move your feet, and dance your way to the beat however which way you feel. The vocals from Scott Mellis fit incredibly well with this track too. “Heterotopia” is the most unique from the bunch, as the entire song’s vocals are performed in French by Yelle. It definitely makes for the more seductive sounding style of songs. Probably the best way to close out the album, “At Night” does an amazing job of summing up such a great retro joyride of sounds, synths, vocoders, and music in general. It’s a track that could very well be easily mistaken for another Daft Punk song, but it’s definitely Oliver. “Full Circle” acts as a worthy conclusion to the album, bringing justice to the title of the album itself as well.
Believe it or not, this album helped me get through Hurricane Harvey, and gave me hope in many ways. It showed me love is still there all around me. Love from human kindness. From people. From everything. I’ve listened to this album at least 3 times already, and I find myself revisiting almost every song. Because this has been the first album in a while where I’ve liked EVERY. SINGLE. SONG. These guys truly are a force to be reckoned with, and regardless if you don’t like this particular genre of music, I hope many can give this album a listen and find an appreciation for sounds, genres, and musical styles. Simply put, this album blew me away from beginning to the absolute ending.
For more Oliver, find them on Soundcloud: