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Obi | The Magic Land Of Radio (Cooking Vinyl)
This debut album from London quartet Obi is a softly spoken, world-weary little gem. Only eight songs and thirty minutes in length, 'The Magic Land...' is a succinct and quietly irresistible introduction to the tender emotions and delicately measured tunes which are Obi's gifts to the world. Stretching between summery indie-pop, late-night laments and the occasional hint of alt. country stylings, Obi is the vehicle upon which Damian Katkhuda surrenders his innermost thoughts. Though his heart is nowhere near as dark, Katkhuda's voice is slightly reminiscent of Mark Kozelek, yet even with lines such as "want a car but I got you instead, need a ride would you get in my bed?", the mood here is mainly one of restraint and innocence. Delightfully downbeat but highly melodic (not unlike spiritual allies Elbow), while this production is seemingly destined for the small-screen; its effortless grace deserves a dose of wide-screen appreciation.

Ian Fletcher
August 2002