Eric Elbogen, who previously called his project Say Hi to
Your Mom, is still chugging along. Whether Seattle is proving a better backdrop
than Brooklyn, N.Y. for his mildly quirky, cheer-through-tears soundscapes
seems a moot point – apparently Elbogen runs into a steady supply of “All The
Pretty Ones” – girls he imagines getting together to compare lists of
successfully broken hearts – wherever he goes.
For those who love the Say Hi sound – a sort of graph for the
highs and lows of hormones, romance, the quest for love – this is a good thing.
Certainly it’s hard to imagine anyone who would find Elbogen’s work
disagreeable. Basic pop structures with concisely clever titles (“Bruises To
Prove It,” “Handsome Babies”) are made engaging by interesting sounds and handy
rock dynamics. Opener “Dots on Maps” is a good example: a warm organ sound is
met by the beat of a repeating power chord before the vocal and percussion kick
in with a jaunty momentum perfectly echoing the movement described by the
lyric. Yeah, this would be nice on a road trip.
Whether or not it’s a direct influence, much of Uh, Uh Oh would mix well with classic
Cure – Elbogen’s plaintive (but not grating or over-pressing) vocals recall
both Robert Smith and Tom Petty. Badly Drawn Boy and Bright Eyes are probably
closer branches on the family tree. In any case, Say Hi provides complementary
audio for the contemporary sub-urban landscape, breaking through with compelling
riffs often enough to at least merit inclusion in, well, soundtracks… perhaps
to our lives.
on Maps,” “Take Ya Dancin’,” “Sister Needs a Settle,” “Bruises To Prove It” MARY LEARY