Friday, December 24, 2010

The upside of Carey Ott

Carey Ott is an artist you should pay attention to. It may seem surprising to hear us say this because we don't spend a lot of time mining the pop genre. What is pop, anyway?

Carey Ott is pop, and this makes pop okay.  If Ott were to take a stage name that mostly aptly describes his craft he might be known as Pop Hook.  (Dr. Hook is already taken.) The man is a virtuoso at writing catchy lyrics and turning them into irresistable rhythms, melodies and beats that send you down the sidewalk with a skip in your step.  He's the artist most likely to have music appear on a TV episode (which has happened several times) or a movie soundtrack.  And what's wrong with that?

Take the song "Ain't No Upside (Living on tha Downside)" from his 2010 album Human Heart.  Play the clip above from an in-studio taping and give us your honest assessment.  It's not easy to isolate a single song because Ott is so prolific -- he had to whittle down Human Heart to 20 songs and probably has written twice that many since then, some of them even rising above "Ain't No Upside."  Many are collaborations with other artists in his Nashville studio.  Sow those lyrical oats any way you can.

Now go to his website and listen to how he goes about his craft.  It makes you wanna sit down and write a song because he makes it sound so easy. But it couldn't possibly be as good as this:

Ain't no upside living on the down side
There ain't no down side in looking up
Ain't no reason for living this way
You keep treading water day after day

And you stay so downhearted it can feel like a hurricane
When you don't feel any love come to ya, give some away
I say ain't no upside living on the down side
There' ain't no downside in looking up
Honey sometimes life can beat you up
I don't have any answers, darlin, only love

Ain't no problem baby we can't solve
We all hurt sometimes it ain't nobody's fault
You keep waiting on tomoorrow like it won't never come
When you don't feel any love coming to ya, give me some

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