Published Feb 28, 2012After an eight-year silence, former Inbreds frontman Mike O'Neill unleashes his third solo effort, Wild Lines, and it's a panoply of pop perfection. Wild Lines leads with "This is Who I Am"; it's a bold number on self-reflection and deciding where to go next. The song's illustrative of the record; the clear-voiced O'Neill openly draws on his breadth of musical and personal experience to navigate this work, occasionally incorporating peculiar self-recorded audio samples (including one of a Botswanian elephant wrangler). Though the album's nuanced, with a mix of emotions, the invoked nostalgia isn't syrupy. "She's Good" recognizes parental idiosyncrasies, while "Colin" is an upbeat tribute to a friend who was a staple in the Halifax music scene, but has since left, while O'Neill remains. Revisiting the present, he offers advice to younger musicians in "Tidy Up" and sings about subjective values on "Overtime." While every track is warmly dense and disparate, the songs remain straightforward, their tempos steady. There's a palpable, Beatles-based vibe, but what's particularly remarkable is Wild Lines' accessibility and lasting resonance. It took O'Neill years to write about time and the result could certainly defy it.
Read a feature interview with Mike O'Neill here.