Skypark – Overbluecity

overbluecity

Skypark – Ovebluecity
Word Records
May 16, 2000

What It Sounds Like:  Instantly recognizable contemporary pop and rock full of throwback harmonies and hooks, but with a much more wide variety of sonic shifts than any one-trick-pony could ever give us.

Skypark flew under the radar on the CCM scene back around the almighty turn of Y2K.  A few months after all the computers in the world didn’t come crashing down, we received, to little fanfare, Overbluecity.  Whenever I listen to it, I always think of Thousand Foot Krutch’s Set It Off  record, not because it sounds alike – not even in the slightest! – but because it’s so diverse.

You think you know what you’re getting when the record kicks off with Viva Satellite, which blasts in with a heavy 90’s alternative rock riff that I’ve played air guitar to way too many times in my life.  It’s followed by the pure power-pop goodness of the hands down, no contest, best song on the record, That Something.  Not only is it the best song on the record, but it’s simply a spectacular song in its own right.  It’s a little punky, a little poppy, and driving, good time rock and roll the whole way through.  Who doesn’t wanna let the sun shine bright with a song when they’re telling a girl that she’s, in a wonderful illustration, New Year’s Eve…everyday!

Depending on your disposition, you may love or hate what happens next, because by listening to the first two tracks, you may have thought that you knew where this band was heading musically – and then – you would be wrong.

Breathe is a bass-heavy, reclusive funk jam.  Wait For Me is a five-minute-plus slow burn of a ballad that builds in restrained power.  That’s What You Say is a largely acoustic, heavyhearted number that ends the record on anything but a happy note.

What in the world happened to this power pop, big chorus, sunshine and bacon bits stuff that we found at the beginning?

It’s not totally lost on you, don’t worry.  What God Does showcases an upbeat would-be single that would have fit on any CMM radio station with it’s lyrics and composition (don’t take that as a negative), and Girl In Your Picture is a quick two-minute burst of greatness that powers through, well..

Just read the lyrics.  They’re quick and fun enough to warrant an twenty extra seconds of your time.

Went on down to penny lane
Just me your picture and the rain
I told you all about my day
You smiled at all I had to say
And I decided…

You’re much nicer on Kodak paper
You’re always smiling at me
You’re much nicer on Kodak paper
I really wish you could be
Like the girl in your picture

Called you on the telephone
You said you’d like to be left alone
So I pulled out your picture again
And told you all the stuff I was in
And then I told you…

You’re much nicer on Kodak paper 
You’re always smiling at me
You’re much nicer on Kodak paper 
I really wish you could be 
Like the girl in your picture

You had a revelation
We’re not meant to be
I’ve been thinking lately
And I agree.

You’re much nicer on Kodak paper 
You’re always smiling at me
You’re much nicer on Kodak paper 
I really wish you could be 
Like the girl in your picture

They sound even better against the driving beat that its paired along with!

Look, this isn’t cutting edge, but the diversity over a single record is super impressive and is what kicks this record up from a “good and enjoyable” seven to a “great” eight.  There are way more memorable instances here than anything that could be considered throwaway.  Fall Forever?  It’s certainly my least favorite track.  Under Your Mercy?  It’s not terrible, but it’s nothing to write home about either.

Those are my two complaints.  You’ve got wins around every other turn.  That makes for a great record that you’ve (probably) never heard!

8/10

If you had to listen to two tracks:  That Something / Breathe

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