With the ironically-named Andy LeMaster at the helm again, Now It’s Overhead embarks upon its third studio voyage.
Dominating the songwriting, vocals, guitars, bass, synths, electric pianos, organs, beats, percussion and programming, as well as engineering, producing and mixing the album in his own Athens, Ga. studio, one can surmise LeMaster runs a tight ship and leaves little room for other creative voices from the crew he once again lugged on deck.
Lyrical subjects here remain almost strictly tactile, grappling with the universal frustrations between men and women – inabilities to communicate, the residual bereavement that turns up after a relationship has gone down the drain, and the resentment that follows when a lover leaves another forlorn.
Bands such as the Flaming Lips and Grandaddy create space for metaphysical musings to stretch out in, but with nary an existential conundrum to touch upon here, LeMaster’s space, though exhibiting deftness with dials, seems nothing more than a just-because-I-can synth-strut. Or, at best, courtesy adornment for what would otherwise be mediocre tracks.
If anything, the vocals provide the most effective dynamism in lifting these tracks out of their banality and providing sporadic moments of layered exaltation – short, shimmering flashes of greatness on an album that’s not especially compelling.