Michael Oliver releases Yin and Yanxiety - his third album - after ten years, one graduate degree from Harvard Kennedy School, and a storied past with one of Western New York's most beloved pop rock acts of the '90s, Go, Dog. Go!
Yin and Yanxiety is a touchingly personal collection of intelligent pop and rock songs reminiscent of Matthew Sweet, Marshall Crenshaw, REM and even The Archies, all of whom Oliver counts as influences. It is an emotional meditation on the past, filled with beautifully crafted songs that glisten, glow, and grandly unfold; vocals lingering and lyrics resonating long after the songs have faded.
From the fuzz-drenched opening ("Complicated"), to love unraveling ("Love While It Lasted"), to the headiness of new romance ("Tell Me What You're Dreaming"), and personal awakening ("I'm Alright Now"), Oliver's Yin and Yanxiety is a collection of stories told with thoughtful lyrics and haunting melodies.
Yin and Yanxiety was recorded in Somerville, MA at Q Division Studios (where artists such as Aimee Mann and Fountains of Wayne have recorded), at Chameleon West Studios in Buffalo, NY, and also at a number of locales around Boston and Cape Cod on Macintosh computers with Paul Zablotski and Michael Swain, from Oliver's band, The Sacred Band.
Michael Oliver: Guitars, Vocals, Keyboards, Percussion
Michael Swain: Bass, Vocals and Wall-o-Guitars/solo on track 10
Paul Zablotski: Keyboards
Jon Cohan: Drums
Michael Lee Jackson: Guitar solo on tracks 1 & 11
Dave Mattacks: Drums on track 5
Howard Fleetwood WIlson III: Drums on tracks 6 & 11
John Caruso: Bass on track 11
T.J. Zindle: Trumpet on tracks 4 & 9
Alex Lynne: Vocals on track 7
Dave Julien: Vocals on track 10
Brian Woods: Vocals on track 10
Michael Christiano: Drums on track 2
Matt Eldred, Q Division, Somerville, MA
Marc Hunt, Chameleon West, Buffalo, NY
Paul Zablotski, remote locations: Arlington, MA, Boston, MA, Provincetown, MA
Mixed by: Ducky Carlisle at Ice Station Zebra, Medford, MA
Mastered by: Roger Siebel at SAE Mastering, Phoenix, AZ
Some initial reactions to the CD:
"Holy F%$#!! I'm listening to the brand new Michael Oliver album, Yin & Yanxiety, and it's spectacular! Gorgeous pop music, rich arrangements, lovely harmonies, and (to cite just a few of the artists I hear Michael using as touchstones), REM, Aimee Mann & Michael Penn, Lindsey Buckingham, Matthew Sweet, the Beatles, and Neil Finn. But don’t take that to mean he's ripping them off; no, it's all him, but the album abounds with wonderful echoes. This is probably all I'll be listening to between now and November 4, when Michael and his Sacred Band will be at the Sportsmen's Tavern." (ed. note - CD release party in Buffalo, NY)
"Michael Oliver's new record, Yin & Yanxiety, is absolutely brilliant. I've listened to 'I Can't Get Over You' on an endless loop for almost 24 hours now. You should, too. "