Begun some six years ago, Osukaru is the namesake of it's founder, guitarist and songwriter Oz Osukaru (also Oscar Oz Petersson) with the intention of creating an AOR melodic rock band. Transition is their latest and third album and, with a single listen, you'll think you've had deja vu all over again. Osukaru and company rock out like it's 1985.
Having been started by a guitarist, you can expect the songs be filled with an abundance of melodic riffs as well as strong guitar solos. But there's more. Being also a song writer Osukaru works from the AOR fundamentals: melody, harmony, groove, catchy hooks and refrains. Additionally, the band uses two vocalists, male and female, taking turns on leads, offering both harmony, and duets. And perhaps the real kicker, or bonus, you get some saxophone on several songs. Nice.
As for the songs, and a point of clarity, Transitions is basically two albums in one. The first half consists of brand new material. The second half offers re-recordings of favorites from their previous. The division comes with a FM DJ explaining the same. There's little I can say about the re-recordings as I have never heard the originals. If anything, I thought the were heavier and sharper than the new material. While there's nothing all that novel about the Osukaru approach to AOR rock, it's done quite well and with enthusiasm. Loving saxophone in almost any context, I'll admit that those songs where it was most present were my favorite: Arrows, Strangled Emotions, Play (more on that song in a moment) and the re-recorded Promised Land, quite intense here. After this, Tell Me You'll Stay, their first single, is probably the go-to song for Osukaru's well-rounded AOR, thanks to the vocal harmonies and guitar lines. A final stand out track comes with Play, where Osukaru shows off his guitar chops. The melody and harmony in the riffs and leads combined with the song's pacing and the saxophone makes the song sound extraordinary. It's the best cut here. Bottom line: Osukaru knows AOR melodic rock and creates some rather tasty stuff. Recommended.
Osukaru knows AOR melodic rock and creates some rather tasty stuff. Recommended.
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