Album Review: Bobby Oroza, “Get On The Otherside”
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, the public has received a diverse array of songs with one main theme – hope. Hope that the pandemic will come to an end, hope that continuous bad news will stop cluttering our social media feeds and hope that we will rise above whichever personal struggles currently plague our lives.
Helsinki-born artist Bobby Oroza has officially added to this growing list of optimistic songs, with the release of his album Get On The Otherside on June 10. After being drawn back into construction work during the pandemic to provide for his family, Oroza has collaborated with Cold Diamond & Mink to create a project that steps further into unflinching reflections on himself than he ever has before. The themes found throughout the record are even depicted in the cover art. On the album cover, Oroza is shown keeping his head above water, with illustrations of light, darkness and space. Elements from the songs’ lyrics, such as reflections and blinding lights, can also be seen on the cover art. Today, we dive deep into the lyrics, production and concept of Get On The Otherside.
Starting off with “I Got Love,” one of Oroza’s most successful tracks to date, the floaty vibe sets the precedent for the collection of songs to come. Featuring a gorgeous bass line and descending seventh chords, “I Got Love” is a tune that feels like springtime. The vocals are reverby and spacious, complete with flute solos throughout. Oroza coos “I got love / And that’s enough” over the laid-back music, confidently assured that he doesn’t need materialistic things, as long as he has love. This serves as a great opening track for this particular album, as themes of love and newfound happiness can be heard throughout the record.
While “I Got Love” elevates the listener, “Loving Body” transcends them into space. Equipped with minimalistic drums and dreamy guitar tones, this song has a much darker feel than its predecessor, while still maintaining its relaxed vibe. Some of my favorite moments from the album appear on this song, specifically the slowed chorus, with lyrics “You don’t have to go on your own / We can come together in a loving body.” This slower feel paired with the minor guitar chords perfectly illustrate what the lyrics suggest. Another favorite moment of mine occurs towards the end of the song, where Oroza sings the words, “Dive into my arms / Dive into my arms” accompanied with a descending vibraphone lick that sounds as though the singer is diving in.
Oroza and his songwriting team’s lyric writing skills shine the most on “The Otherside,” a song about finding your true self and shifting to a positive outlook on life after a dark period. The lyrics not only paint the picture of what Oroza has endured well; they also strike a very relatable chord. The lyrics “Let the past be past, move on to a different time / Get on the otherside / The wall ahead is just a trick of mind / Get on the otherside” set the tone for the rest of the album. One of my favorite songwriting techniques that regularly occurs throughout the record can be heard on “The Otherside,” as well as songs “Bobby’s New Mood” and “Through These Tears,” where the song begins with lone descending guitar chords that lead into the sound of a full band.
“Blinding Light” may be the most experimental track on the record, complete with percussive water droplet sounds throughout. I love the imagery of the lyrics in this song, one of the best examples being “Shine so bright / It’s a blinding light / When clouds apart / And I turn my face to the sun, let it shine right through / Into the darkness / Of my mind.” The lyrics in “Blinding Light” provide illustrative metaphors that describe what the song is about. The combination of the production and lyrics make “Blinding Light” a fitting title for this particular tune.
“Make Me Believe” is another song where the production is the song’s best asset, with the addition of the organ. Although the instrument is introduced on the tenth track, it feels as though it belongs and pairs perfectly with the smoothness of the R&B guitar chords playing alongside it. The title, as well as the theme of “Make Me Believe” makes the appearance of the gospel-influenced organ very fitting.
The final track on the album, “Through These Tears,” is a great closer to wrap up Get On The Otherside. This track accomplishes what Oroza has set out to do with this project. A variety of themes can be found on this track, including finding your true self, finding light in the darkness and moving forward, all of which are recurring themes heard throughout the album. The final lyrics the listener hears drives the message home “Through these tears I cry / I’m gonna learn to smile again, again / All this time I’ve tried / Just to be myself, my true self” and brings the 43-minute album to a close.
Get On The Otherside is a star that will continue to shine bright. Although the album has a modern sound, it will not sound dated as time passes by. As we work towards putting the devastating impact of the past couple of years behind us, Get On The Otherside is a blinding light in the darkness; a reminder that no matter how grim the present may seem, anybody can get on the otherside.
Key tracks: I Got Love / Loving Body / The Otherside
Listen to Get On The Otherside
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