It was 2010, and the Colorado electropop duo 3OH!3 had just released their third album “Streets of Gold.” The album proved the duo to be a powerful one at the top of their game, releasing strings of radio hits, growing in maturity and appealing to a fan-base that begged for more content. The band released “Omens” on June 18, fighting for further validation after a three-year absence.
Many would consider 3OH!3 to be a one-hit-wonder type of group. They had a few hits on the radio, but much of their album content is overlooked by the average listener. The fans provided them with the fuel for their singles to make the radio, and they were the folks playing the records over the loudspeakers. The fans are a younger demographic, since lyrical content usually focuses around love, sex, parties and dancing. A good portion of these fans are folks who enjoy electronic music, but tend not to be fazed by the fad known as dubstep.
Over the course of the three years between records, the group had released songs as teasers to keep people listening. “Robot,” “Bang Bang,” and “Set You Free” were three songs the band released from “the vault” and showed a lot of promise for the new album. Additionally, album singles like “Do or Die,” “You’re Gonna Love This” and “Back to Life” proved that they had stuck with the formula for past success, while still adding different elements, and were ready to bust back into the limelight.
At the end of the day, however, the best parts of their album had already been released. “Omens” turned out to be a huge disappointment for both fans and average listeners alike.
At first listen, the intro track is very similar to intro tracks on past records — it’s interesting and sets the stage for what is to come. The second and third tracks, “Eyes Closed” and “You’re Gonna Love This,” aren’t bad at all. There is a lot of energy on both tracks and they both sound fairly similar to something they would have produced in the past. Then, it happens — dubstep — namely on the tracks “Black Hole” and “Hungover.” These songs are tarnished with a musical fad that reached its peak over a year ago. For those who enjoyed old 3OH!3, the only non-single tracks to listen to are “Eyes Closed” and “Live for the Weekend.” That means there are five bearable songs on an album with 11 songs and four bonus tracks.
Lyrically, 3OH!3 hasn’t changed much. If anything, they have almost regressed in maturity. For the best example of this, listen to the song “Two Girlfriends” and fill in the blanks. “Live for the Weekend,” arguably the best non-single track from the album, features lyrical genius like, “Oh yeah, party in the city. Drink it if you’re with me then we’ll be passed out on the floor,” or “I ain’t scared of death, the b—- is scared of me.”
Dubstep ruined what could have been a promising release, as if the lyrics and regression in maturity hadn’t done enough. As a shameless fan of 3OH!3’s first three records, I am beyond disappointed in their change in direction, and it may possibly deem the end of their commercial success. It’s sad to see that it took three years to release this debacle. “Omens” deserves 2 out of 5 stars.
Joseph Wenberg is a junior in journalism and mass communications. Please send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.