Connor O'Brien
"Soliloquy"

(SX Records 2002)Connor O\'Brien - Soliloquy

In plays or movies, the soliloquy is when a character looks directly at the audience and addresses them. No other characters who might be on stage at the time can hear them. In the linear notes for his album, Connor O'Brien defines "soliloquy" as "the act of speaking to oneself." The fact that O'Brien tries to let you know ahead of time that the album's focus is to himself, is the first of several arrogances offered on his album of substance less pop songs.

Opening with a Savage Garden-esque sound, "Long Last Look" introduces O'Brien as he addresses an old lover, even at one point giving them a photo of himself as a "reminder/Cause you'll never get any closer to me." More up pace, "Unhappy Anniversary" changes the mood as does the power ballad "Time" while "I'll Be Around" is more of a mid tempo romantic ballad. "You were humming along to my latest 'flop'/Ain't it funny how life changes before your eyes/I know you're listening to this on the radio/I bet you've never been dismissed in stereo/I think of all of the times you ever let me down/I think of all of the ways -- get a life," O'Brien sings childishly on the absurd and arrogant "Get A Life." O'Brien gets quieter, with the mid tempo "Promise You This" and then the power pop of "Ready To Fall" and melodic ballad "Without You (I Can't Breathe)." Upbeat and poppy, "So Far No Good" tries to catch your attention with its quick paced hook while the album closes with the piano ballad "Where Are You Now (9.11.01)."

O'Brien is obviously looking for a spot in the mainstream and his album reflects it. While he is doing his best, O'Brien's voice is not strong enough for some of the songs he performs and the songs could have had more essence to them. While teen pop singles might be selling today, it is artful songs of substance that live on.

C-

buy it!