Blending trip hop sensibilities with trance
beats and atmospheric lushness, Olive returns with their second
album, "Trickle." Losing a member of the three piece has not
seemed to slow their pace, but in fact, lent them a wiser,
more mellow vibe. Tim Kellet (formerly of Simply Red) continues
as the force behind the programming and instrumentation, accompanied
by the hauntingly beautiful vocals of Ruth-Ann Boyle. "Trickle"
picks up where "Pure Virgin," their 1996 release, left off.
While the melody plays the major role, each song is woven
together with tight rhythm and beautiful harmonies. Boyle's
voice plays the part of main instrument, as well as that of
vocalist, blending to create vast landscapes of sonic pleasure.
From the opening slide bit, "Love Affair"
is replete with beautiful programming and even more beautiful
vocals. It makes my booty want to move. "Trickle" is a little
more down beat, and somber. A song about lost love and fear
of leaving. The first single from the record is "I'm Not In
Love," a nice upbeat trance track with wonderful movement
in the keyboard arrangements, including a light harpsichord
line. "Smile" blends experimental sounds with saddened vocals
in a lush, downbeat song. Like many of the songs included
on the record, "Smile" deals with feelings of loneliness and
unrequited love. "All You Ever Needed" is a highly effected
track with the grooviest bass line of the century, and some
wonderful vocal layering. This is probably my favorite track
on the album (though it would be hard to pick a favorite).
"My latest mood, a darker shade of blue, still I draw closer
to you. My pretty little dress, begins to look a mess, infatuation
come through." The songs "Indulge Me" and "Speak to Me" seem
to go hand in hand, asking for honesty and explanation for
many of the things gone wrong in a relationship. Songs like
"Liberty" need no explanation; they merely set a precedent
for how well executed and emotionally charged electronic music
can be. Kellett breaks out the flugelhorn for the song "Push",
weaving it around the electronics effortlessly. The record
winds up with more groove oriented, somewhat downbeat tracks,
easy to listen to and with a little bit of hope for the individual
Trickle deals with many topics that are
not necessarily unique in rock music, but very much unexplored
in the realms of techno. The depth of songwriting (yes, SONGWRITING.
Not just programming.) on this record is proof positive that
Olive have proven once again that they will be a contender
in the race for not only sonic excellence, but also content,
in the trance/trip hop genre. A must for techno kids, ambient
lovers, and those who just appreciate great songs presented
in a delicate, beautiful way.
– David DeVoe
1. Love Affair
3. I'm Not In Love
5. All You Ever Needed
6. Indulge Me
7. Speak To Me
10. Trust You
11. Creature of Comfort
12. Beyond the Fray