In a bout of modesty during a recent interview, lead singer of Opshop Jason Kerrison proclaimed, “I’m always amazed that anyone’s interested in anything we do”. Well Jason, I’m right there with you on that one. Opshop’s second album is being fiercely championed by the powers that be this New Zealand music month. I have to admit I sat down to listen to Second Hand Planet with much trepidation and, suffice to say, it was just as disappointing as I expected.
Interestingly the major theme that runs throughout the album and even features in the title is global warming and the environment.
Sorry guys, but climate change just isn’t sexy.
The track “Cosmonauts Boot” seems to be appealing to the climate change skeptics out there and it’s so bad it almost turned me into one. “Making sense of evidence where no evidence of absence could be found”, that just doesn’t roll off the tongue well. It is as if this is Opshop’s very own version of An Inconvenient Truth.
The biggest problem I have with Opshop is Jason Kerrison’s overly sincere, monotonous, Bono-esque voice. His voice is put to work on verse-heavy songs that, when the choruses do come, they fail to add structure to or excite the songs at all. Most of the tracks on Second Hand Planet sound very similar due to their clanking, slow paced drums and uninspired guitar playing. The few tracks that do work are the more piano based ones and that’s what they should stick to.
The lyrics are generally lacklustre and uninspiring, which is made worse by the fact that they sound like they are desperately trying to inspire us all to recycle and reduce our carbon footprint.
So if you’re going to attempt to write anthems about the environment I have some advice. Be Joni Mitchell or Thom Yorke. Don’t be Opshop. And certainly don’t fill up an entire album with them.