Owen – The EP
Record Label: Polyvinyl
Release Date: May 4 2004
Music shopping is one of my favorite things to do, because every time I go out, I never know what I’m going to find. I always make weekly trips to my local FYE, even though I have a lot/hate relationship with that store, because their new records are usually overpriced, but their used CDs and DVDs are fantastic. That’s where I found a copy of Owen’s The EP for $2.99 in the clearance section. I wasn’t sure if it was Mike Kinsella’s band Owen, but I was 99% sure it was, so I decided to buy it, and see for myself. Thankfully, I was right, and I was pleased that I managed to find a physical release by a wonderful artist. I haven’t listened to much by Owen, mainly just this EP and 2011’s Ghost Town. That was my first and only release that I knew by Kinsella, but it was still a rather enjoyable record. I don’t remember much about it, but what I do remember is that it was a chilled out indie/emo record, and well, that’s what The EP is, too. It’s exactly what I remembered about Owen. It’s rather stripped down, and chilled out, and that’s really it, honestly. Owen was a band that always kinda fell to the wayside for me. I mean, I always have enjoyed Kinsella’s music, specifically the record I had heard, but I never really loved it, either. That’s ultimately how I feel about The EP. It’s a good collection of five songs that Owen is known for – chilled out indie/emo, but that’s about it.
It’s not a bad EP, or anything, it just doesn’t do much for me, as a whole. The first two songs, “Skin and Bones,” and “In the Morning, Before Work” are actually quite enjoyable. The former starts off the EP on a very nice note, and essentially what the whole EP entails. If you want a feel for this EP and even this band, this song is a nice place to start. A pounding drum beat drives this song, along with an acoustic guitar in the background, as Kinsella sings. His voice is quite unique, but never really did much for me. And on this EP, he sings in a rather hushed tone throughout the whole thing, and doesn’t really switch it up, which does kind of bug me after awhile. The EP is only 23 minutes long, but it does get slightly boring, because the first couple songs are really enjoyable, along with the latter track, “In the Morning, Before Work,” but it’s after this song where things go get a bit derivative. There are some interesting moments, however, like third track “Breaking Away” features a violin throughout the track, and coupled with Kinsella’s hushed vocals, it’s quite beautiful. The song also features some nice lyrics, too. It’s a nice EP, and if you are a fan of indie or genuine “emo” music, this is something to look into. I’ve never been into much of the genre, but it’s something I may have to look into. Regardless, Owen has been a band that I’ve never really connected with. I’ve always enjoyed Mike Kinsella’s music, but never loved it, and this EP is solid, but doesn’t make me fall in love with his music, or anything, really. It’s solid indie/emo, and that’s really it.
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