Album Review: Cullen Omori – New Misery

By Ryan Jameson Weaver

And just like that, former Smith Westerns front man Cullen Omori has proven his right.  He has proven not only that he can endure, but that he can continue to embellish his creative spirit with the forthcoming of wherever it takes him. We have seen his predecessors become somewhat of an afterthought, what were once must sees are now a backdrop to the thinning front and ready center stage.

New Misery is gracious and warm, it is a delicate composition that stands on its own.  The Oasis style guitars are given away to more wah-wah All Things Must Pass melancholy, the rambunctious teenage spirit is more of an 80’s romedy standing on the edge of an emotional waterfall. What is most very evident is that Cullen Omori has the innate ability to make extremely catchy songs while expanding his palette in a natural progression.  And although having backing keyboards, drums, and guitar, Cullen wrote, played, and oversaw nearly every aspect of the album, giving him full autonomy to go wherever he wanted.

Cullen when talking to The Chicago Reader :“I had this overwhelming feeling that perhaps the apex of my life both as a musician and as an individual would be relegated to five years in my late teens/early 20s. This fear really forced me to work hard as to not see the Smith Westerns as an end but as a point along a bigger trajectory.”

Must listens: “And Yet The World Still Turns” “Cinnamon” “Lom”

New Misery is out now via Subpop

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