Oscar - Beautiful Words

Review by Dom Vigil

It’s hard not to immediately fall in love with the poppy synth and Morrissey esque vocals on the title track of Oscar’s new EP, Beautiful Words. Also serving as the opening track, “Beautiful Words” begins with hip-hop drums and Oscar’s rich baritone before blooming into a bright, hopeful sounding chorus, creating the perfect balance of somber and poppy before it fades out slowly and into the happy-go-lucky second track, “Forget Me Not.”

Beautiful Words is not only an easy listen, carried heavily by beautiful vocal harmonies, rich baritone, catchy synth parts and a strong rhythm section, it is also very versatile. The vocal work in “Forget Me Not,” for instance is rather deep and mellow, but the beat and instrumentation is poppy and catchy as hell. The contrast in sounds makes for a very interesting and captivating listen, as you never know what Oscar will do next.

“Caramel Brown” is a great example of the smart songwriting that carries Beautiful Words. Starting off with a heavy bass line and clean vocal melody, the song almost promises to be rather mellow before the chorus comes in with bright, pretty vocal harmonies and strong synth. The deep, distinctive quality of Oscar’s voice is timeless, but he doesn’t play it safe - none of these songs fit what would traditionally sound good with a lower voice like his, but he makes them work. In fact, it would feel almost wrong to hear a song on this album that didn’t surprise you or throw you through a loop.

“Daffodil Days” begins slow like many of the songs on Beautiful Words, reminding me quite a bit of Morrissey in Oscar’s vocals, but then the huge chorus comes in, and it’s almost impossible to compare him to any other singer, modern or not. “Grow Up” differs the most from the other songs on Beautiful Words. It isn’t loud or in your face by any means, but it is one of the most upbeat songs on the album, carried by a catchy and memorable chorus that is sure to get stuck in your head as Oscar sings, “I just wanna be young forever,” alongside some Frankie Valli sounding “Ooh”s.

Closing out the EP is the bass heavy, synth driven “Told Me So,” and the warm and slow final track, “Stay.” By the time these seven songs fade out, you’ve seen many sides of Oscar - from the lighter, poppier songs like “Grow Up” and “Beautiful Words” to the more somber and mellow “Stay” and “Forget Me Not.” Not one song on Beautiful Words sounds like the other, and that’s what makes it so worth the listen. You never know what you’re going to get with Oscar, and that is sure to keep listeners coming back for more.

Rating: 4.5/5

Listen to "Beautiful Words" or "Grow Up"