Um, Uh Oh

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Generally favorable reviews - based on 6 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: The band, previously known as Say Hi To Your Mom, releases its seventh album.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Alternative Press
    Mar 22, 2011
    There's more energy on Um, Uh Oh than in Say Hi's entire back catalog, creating wonderful tension with the songs' downcast sentiments. [Feb 2011, p.89]
  2. Mar 17, 2011
    There's growth here even amid the stumbles, Elbogen realizing with closer "Bruises To Prove It" that black and blue are "still better than a torn-up heart."
  3. Mar 11, 2011
    As far as songs are concerned,Um, Uh Oh is pretty much business as usual, which is to say it's full of songs neither revelatory nor skippable. The tracks are raw, stripped-down, and crisp, embracing his newfound production polish with aplomb.
  4. Mar 11, 2011
    By letting the darkness shine in and learning to laugh in the face of potential failure, Eric Elbogen has taken a significant step creatively.
  5. Mar 11, 2011
    When Elbogen adds some additional keyboards to the mix, Um, Uh Oh feels downright colorful. And the songs themselves boast a level of craftsmanship and quality that's striking for somebody whose last batch of tunes was released less than two years earlier.
  6. Mar 11, 2011
    These are not all indelible tunes--probably half of them will fade from your memory shortly after a listen--but they are pleasant enough while they last, and with half the tracks clocking in under the three-minute mark (and the others barely breaking it), nothing on um, uh oh overstays its welcome.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Jun 9, 2012
    So apparently the key to bringing a one-man band onto a level playing field with a real, live band is learning to actually play the drums.So apparently the key to bringing a one-man band onto a level playing field with a real, live band is learning to actually play the drums. Using analog tape instead of a Mac is probably helpful too. In addition to making the music feel more organic, I suppose it makes one play more intuitively and less antiseptically. It's easy to be judgmental and presume "growing up" is also a valuable factor. But "growing up" is such a subjective idea. I can't be sure there's even such a thing, really. Eric Elbogen says in the liner notes to Um, Uh Oh, "(This album) is not about vampires, the artificially intelligent, or other fictitious (?) creatures." And it's good that none of these songs are about Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or whatever. "There's not not any wood wood left for the fire fire" is a better lyric than "She bites through necks like Ginsu" when you analyze it - though it lacks the initial punch. That may mean Say Hi is growing up - or it could just mean the priorities are in motion. Today's Say Hi sounds more like the Boss or Tom Waits than the mythological, Platonic synth pop of Impeccable Blahs. As such, it has much wider appeal and lasting power. It may never have been fair to marginalize Say Hi To Your Mom as a "joke" band - but a bunch of songs inspired by Anne Rice and recorded in a bedroom left Mr. Elbogen wide open to the subjectivity of a fickle field of critics. Now, when he says in an interview that he was profoundly inspired by David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest the music will provide support for his intellectual heft. Um, Uh Oh is an intellectually hefty record disguised as a whimsical blues rock/Americana project. Expand