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Monday, November 24, 2008

Review: O.L.D. - I Live In A World

O.L.D. - I Live In A World
2008, Fake Record Label Records

Craig Elkins is known to fans as the former front man of Huffamoose, and has long had a reputation for honest, expansive lyrics that border on catharsis. Along with Larry Chaye De Gasperin he formed O.L.D. as an outlet for his more recent writing, much of which coincided with or was inspired by moving to L.A. a few years back. I Live In A World is a series of musical soliloquies developed from a time of upheaval and new opportunities in a life defined by family and music.

Everybody's Bitch describes the frustration felt by Elkins at being tied to the needs and requirements of others in order to support a family and develop himself. It's an anthem that most any working person with a family can identify with as it examines how difficult and yet seamless the transition from narcissistic individual to productive member of a family/society can be. The song itself is great alt-rock stuff: highly memorable and infectious. You'll be humming it for days, and singing it in your head every time your boss drops something new on your desk. The Cookie Song is a hilarious look at self-denial for your own good. It's full of a tense energy that is part desire for change and part longing for the comfort of old ways. It's a bit of fuzzy pop genius.

When The Gloves Come Off is built around a great guitar hook. By the time you get through When The Gloves Come Off you'll be convinced that Elkins has distinctive gift for catchy pop songs in a fuzzy/dirty jacket. There's an almost Beatles-like sense for melody lines that will stick in your head like good oatmeal on the ribs. The sound is a little bit messy, like a live a recording; reflecting the almost haphazard genius that seems to define Elkins' compositions. The title track, I Live In A World, reflects upon the sad state of modern society where being friendly to the wrong stranger can have bad consequences. This is particularly reflective of life in a major city such as L.A. or New York.

Truth to tell, there isn't a weak song on I Live In A World. Hey, Where Ya Goin'? sounds at first like an intervention with a family or friend until you realize Erlich is chastising himself. Lost Soul is a quiet moment against the fast pace thus far. Full of a lyric melancholy that is sad but distinctly beautiful, Lost Soul is one of the true highlights of I Live In A World. It's All Good Baby takes on a distinctly Americana flavor and serves as a reminder of what's important in the middle of the day to day maelstrom of life. The album closes out with I'm Always On The Wrong Side Of The Road; Let's Ride It and 3000, all strong songs.

O.L.D.'s I Live In A World is a surprising album. It took me a few listens to get into this one, but the effort was definitely worth it. It went from an album I wasn't particularly excited about to a personal favorite in the course of about ten spins. Craig Elkins is a distinctive voice, both as a singer and songwriter, documenting the slice of life he's been dealt in unusually honest and unrestrained terms. I Live In A World is a Wildy's World Certified Desert Island Disc, something I never would have imagined at first listen. Let O.L.D. surprise you too.

Rating: 5 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about O.L.D. at You can purchase a copy of I Live In A World at or via download on iTunes.


Anonymous said...

If you love this record you should, without a doubt get Craig's first 'solo' record 'Craig Craigstofferson'. It's truly AMAZING!!!

Anonymous said...

I Agree!!!! It's totally it's own thing - odd, left-of-center story telling with sort a a punk trio feel. The production is very lo-fidelity - in a good way.

Craig Craigstofferson - A Final Blaze of Glory

Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more..I've been a fan of Craig's since the Huffamoose days..and while Craig Craigstofferson "A Final Blaze of Glory" was awesome, I must say that I am truly amazed with this O.L.D. release. Sometimes I get the feeling Craig is just in his basement recording a jam session, but then I listen to the intricate melodies..and then you see the awsomeness of this cd! Great music and even better lyrics. You'll be singing yourself silly. Can't wait till the next one.