It’s been a tumultuous time for Cullen Omori between the release of his debut solo album (‘New Misery’ in 2016) and ‘The Diet’. Buffeted by life’s storms – from car crashes to relationship lows – Omori felt bloated on negativity. He set about writing and recording, cutting back on pretence and ignoring expectations on him.
What he produced is a modern indie album seeped in the classic sounds of ’70s rock. Again. From the soft sunshine of opener ‘Four Years’ to the pastoral harmonies of the closing ‘A Real You’, the album drips with psychedelic rock reminiscent of George Harrison, Marc Bolan and Jim Morrison – something that Omori has done well since the Smith Westerns. Love and life bubble through the warped tones and reverb vocals, and while the sound has been revisited many times by many artists over the years, Omori does add another pleasant, if not groundbreaking record, to the canon.
Welcoming a cast of contributing musicians and working closely with producer Taylor Locke, Omori is getting closer to what he wants to hear, as well as how he wants to sound as a musician. Hi-fi production meets lo-fi methods to give a clean edge to reflective yet simplistic songwriting, while thematically love inspires many of the tracks.
Uplifting and full of hope, ‘The Diet’ has Cullen Omori dusting himself down and looking toward brighter days while honouring the classic psych rock sound and creating another solid indie-rock album, even if it does land short of ‘New Misery’.