Oberhofer‘s Time Capsules II is an infectious take on angsty young adulthood and newly lost and newly found love. I can sing this album (badly) from start to finish, and I can’t say that about most albums. From “HEART” all the way down to “Homebro” the album is jam-packed full of sad indie sing-a-longs. For the past week it has soundtracked my car rides to and from school, and yes, I sing in the car. Loudly. I’m not embarrassed to say it. For the past week I have tried desperately to replicate lead singer Brad Oberhofer’s characteristic twang, and as a result things have gotten weird in my car.
So yes, Time Capsules II contains 10 solid tracks. Where I think it lacks is in story. Every song on this album is about heartbreak and memories, so there is a common theme. But for me every great album tells a story. This is merely an excellent collection of songs that can be listened to in rotation with The Smiths and make everything sad seem normal for your weird teenage son (I get confused about our demographic).
Coincidentally, this album was produced by the legendary Steve Lillywhite, who has famously worked with The Smiths’ lead singer Morrissey. I think Steve was approached with a very difficult task in producing for Oberhofer’s debut effort. Many of the tracks on Time Capsules II are re-edited cuts of previously released songs (Away Frm U, I Could Go, oOoO, etc.). These tracks sound noticeably cleaner in their production and much of that can be credited to Lillywhite’s influence. This is a problem. The production needed to balance Oberhofer’s gritty rawness with a contained traditional sound, yet parts of this album are overproduced. Where the balance needed to lean closer to Oberhofer’s lo-fi aggressiveness, Lillywhite dials the band back and robs them of their most recognizable quality.
Clearly this is not a perfect album, but even with its frustrating flaws and missteps it will remain one of the most creative albums released this year (just look at the song titles). From the melancholic, King Krule-esque “Yr Face” to the brilliant opus that is “Haus,” this album never lacks in uniqueness and creativity. I am happy to say that it will be one of my most played albums of the year. If you are looking for a consistently catchy arrangement of songs, this is the album for you. Brad Oberhofer’s voice is as undeniable as ever and will make you want to sing the choruses along with him your whole drive home.
Just try not to lose your voice.
Album Rating: 8.0/10
I want to build a house with you, a house with you, a house with you,
I want to build a house with you, so we can be alone.