Okay Huggable Dust

[Absolutely Kosher; 2008]

Rating: 2/5

Styles: indie rock, singer/songwriter
Others: Luna, Smog, Hayden

Okay, the semi-solo project of Fremont, CA’s Marty Anderson, doesn’t traffic in concision. The group’s first releases were 2005’s simultaneously-dropped High Road and Low Road, which included 11 songs apiece. The latest, Huggable Dust, nearly equals that pair in length on its own, with 18 tracks over about an hour. As for the music? It’s more of the same mid-/slow-tempo indie singer-songwriter fare we got the first time around, albeit slightly more fleshed-out musically this time. The creaky-voiced Anderson plaintively leads the way over a twinkling menagerie of strings, bells, drum machines, and other assorted cutesiness, while telling tales of loneliness and rising above it.

The problem here is the same one that cropped up the first time around — the songs can all essentially be described the same way, move at the same tempo, seem to have similar subject matter, and continue the aggravating pattern of forgettable one-word titles. After several listens of High Road and Low Road, the only song I could remember was High Road’s sing-songy “Have.” Here, the standouts are the spare “Only” and catchy, glitchy “Beast” (though this still rides a “There’s always an upside” chorus, an Okay lyric if ever there was one). Sample these if you’re craving 16 more tunes of the same general ‘don’t worry, be happy’ bent, dive in. Otherwise, you might get a little antsy by the end of Huggable Dust’s hour, which feels longer than it actually is, and not in the best of ways.

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