Over the course of his new EP That Girl Is Trouble, John O’Brien touches on a range of topics. From looking beneath the surface to the suffering of the oceans, O’Brien hooks you with his impressive arrangements and charm. Flitting from one musical style to another, he is able to captivate you and drown you in his emotional depth.
The EP is a great lead-up to his full-length album which is planned for later this year. He has also booked tour dates for June 2021 after his tour earlier this year was rescheduled due to the pandemic. His live performance experience combined with years of recording has resulted in the polished and enthralling sound of this EP.
The title and opening track ‘That Girl Is Trouble’ tells a tale worthy of the big screen. Lyrically, you are taken through the story of a lonely man who sees the soft and loving heart of a troubled beauty. While the lyrics tell you this story, the melody is upbeat and engaging. You can’t help but get into the lively beat and move to the rhythm. It is a very fun track from the guitar to O’Brien’s vocals to the backing vocals.
‘Siboney’ has a very different sound and is a jazz-infused mellow composition. There is this jazzy beat to the song that hooks you and gets your foot tapping. O’Brien’s vocals are smooth and so different from the last track. It is interesting to hear the swing from one song to the other. While this song does not have the upbeat vibe of the last, there is something enthralling about it. You are transported to a warm beach at sunset with this track.
‘Mother Ocean’ has a guitar opening that lets you know this is a deeper and more sombre track. This opening gives way to a faster beat, but the depth does not leave. The lyrics look at the suffering of the ocean which is a little at odds with the faster engaging beat. There is a plea in the chorus of this track that asks all of us to end the waste that burdens the ocean. It is a very interesting environmental song that is too catchy for its own good.
The EP ends on a rock note with ‘Take It Home’. There are soaring guitars and a fast hard rock vocal performance that gets your head moving to the beat. The lyrics are the opposite of the opening track as they detail the anger of a man whose lover has left him for his best friend. The opposing ends of the spectrum create this wonderful balance on the EP. While the lyrics are not happy, there is something infectious about this track that makes you smile while listening.
John O’Brien takes you on a journey of looking below the surface, environmental awareness, anger and love in That Girl Is Trouble. Each track on the EP is completely different from the others, but they combine to create a showcase of everything he has to offer. With this EP being as amazing as it is, I can’t wait to hear his full-length album.