The first solo album by Oli Rees titled Oakley Sky came about as the band he was in at the time dissolved and he wanted to capture a few songs he had been working on. Those handful of songs grew as Rees collaborated on the recordings with producer Pete Brown.
The album is made up of 11 tracks that easily flow together in a cohesive album. Rees has a heartfelt and almost effortless style that makes listening to this classic rock album easy to listen to. “What Took You” opens the album with an almost folk music feel and starts the story off well. The vocals and guitar work well together and he avoids having the two compete in any way.
Of all the songs on the album, the second track “Don't Speak for Me” is by far my favorite. This song is easy to relate to and given the current change in the general American public it seems like it could easy become a popular independence anthem. I enjoyed the uplifting and almost defining tone of the song. I also really like the quicker pace of “Sold Out” with again is a topic that seems quite relevant. Either of these songs would perform nicely as a single as well.
“No Returning Angel” gave a bit of a different feel to the album and the change of pace was interesting. The topic was a bit darker but again the overall styling made it easy to just relax and really listen to the story. The overall tone of the album would lend itself nicely to a live set and each song complements Rees true talents and style.
“Tomorrow” may ring true with a variety of people as we struggle to see just what the future may hold. The tune is oddly soothing in its questioning of the future, without giving us too much of a scare I guess. I enjoyed this song as well, again a folk music type feel easily pairs with the classic rock style. “All or Nothing” picks up the tempo of the album again with yet another glimpse to the future and risks we often take that force a choice.
Overall I enjoyed the album and would listen to it again. I can't say there was a song on this set I did not like. Each seemed to have a valid point to share with just enough of an open-ended question for the listener to fill in their own blanks.
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