Album Review: Eric Anders and Mark O’Bitz – Of All These Things
If you’re one of the discerning fans who heard and appreciated the music Pete Yorn made in the first decade of this new century – musicforthemorningafter, Day I Forgot and especially Nightcrawler – then you owe it to yourself to seek out this new release. With breathy, close-miked vocals, swoonworthy vocal harmonies and keening, beautiful pedal steel guitar, Of All These Things is very much a piece with Yorn’s early work.
Anders is nominally a folk artist, but he has a pop sensibility that makes his thoughtful and melancholy songs more catchy and memorable than garden-variety folk music. His voice and acoustic guitar are at the sonic center of most all of the album’s ten songs, but subtle splashes of other instrumentation add tone color throughout. Occasionally – as on “Eyes of Your Loves” Anders threatens briefly to rock out, but in the end he doesn’t. Nor does he need to. His vocals are out front, and the instrumentation provides sympathetic backing.
“I Used to Be Another” displays a bit more country and western influence, and “Time’s Gone” is the closest the album comes to straight folk. There’s both a unity of musical approach and subtle variety among the songs; while the energy level rarely changes, Of All These Things holds the listener’s interest from start to finish.
About the Author
With a background in marketing and advertising, Bill Kopp got his professional start writing for Trouser Press. After a stint as Editor-in-chief for a national music magazine, Bill launched Musoscribe in 2009, and has published new content every business day since then (and every single day since 2018). The 4000-plus interviews, essays, and reviews on Musoscribe reflect Bill's keen interest in American musical forms, most notably rock, jazz, and soul. His work features a special emphasis on reissues and vinyl. Bill's work also appears in many other outlets both online and in print. He regularly hosts lecture/discussions on artists and albums of historical importance (including monthly events Music to Your Ears and Music Movie Mondays), and is a frequent guest on music-focused radio programs and podcasts. In Spring 2023 he is co-teaching a history of Rock 'n' Roll at UNC Asheville's College for Seniors. He also researches and authors liner notes for album reissues -- more than 30 to date -- and co-produced a reissue of jazz legend Julian "Cannonball" Adderley's final album. His first book, Reinventing Pink Floyd: From Syd Barrett to The Dark Side of the Moon was published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2018, and in paperback in 2019. His second book, Disturbing the Peace: 415 Records and the Rise of New Wave, was published in 2021 by HoZac Books. His third book, What's the Big Idea: 40 Great Concept Albums will be published in 2024. Read even more about him here.