Music Review: The Good Listeners “Ojai”

July 15, 2006

The Good Listeners are a good listen – let’s get that clear right away. Sweet, sparse alt rock with intelligence.

See the thing is, I always get a sinking feeling when I come across a CD that has a “concept” and The Good Listeners’ concept was especially frightening. Their plan – lock themselves in a rented house with no contact with the outside world and write 10 songs in 10 days. Day One’s song would be written, arranged and recorded, then filed away without any further finessing. And so on to Day Ten.

Amazing, but these guys pulled off an incredible collection. Of course the CD has its weak spots, but there are more honestly good songs put down here than you’ll get from buying any Top 40 CD.

I think one of the wisest moves the guys made was not confining themselves to presenting the songs in the order they were recorded. For one thing, that took away my initial, although not intended, bias in expecting the first songs to be the weakest, which is not the case.

“Light From Sound” (Day Six) is a great retro-sounding, fall-out shelter dance tune, but I think the lyrics get some eras intertwined. Helter Skelter, Farrah, Nazis and Jane Fonda? Oh well, time’s all fluid in music anyway.

“Fight The Magic Eagle” (Day Seven) is a gnarly bit of noise, but since it’s only 55 seconds long it gets transformed into a snip of eccentricity. Who can complain about that?

Another thing I expected – despite my brave attempts at objectivity – was that the songs would be pretty similar. Again, this is not the case. The Good Listeners definitely have their own sound, but the variety of musical styles is impressive.

I can’t wait for this duo’s next concept. Bring it on and shatter all my prejudices. I love that. Take a listen and reward The Good Listeners at or why not go ahead and add them to your friends list at


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