Mo Douglas - 'Mama Owl Can Hear it' TDRCO-079
1. Poached Eggs and Greens
2. Cold Pork Chops
3. Catfish and Grilled Corn, Pt. 1
4. Fried Apple Fritters
5. Strawberry Pancakes and Cream
6. Can You Hear it
7. Dawn at the Dog Park
8. Catfish and Grilled Corn, Pt. 2
9. Mama Owl
10. Sweet Potatoes and Butter
Mama Owl Can Hear It is a windows-open collection of (mostly) instrumental songs offering mesmerizing, groove-laden rhythms with heavy doses of hummable, layered melodies. The songs are tasteful cocktails of a myriad of influences from the ‘60s and ‘70s that meander through different styles and moods. As a whole however, and under the careful mixologist’s eye of Douglas, the tracks hang together like a well-chosen wardrobe, sharing tones and colors.
“Poached Eggs and Greens,” the album’s opener, is an example of the easy manner of Mo’s genre-blending, and features for it’s lead melody 1960s-era Henry Mancini-like jazz flute. Playful and nostalgic, the effect is refreshing. “Strawberry Pancakes and Cream” keeps a trance-folk vibe going with dub rhythms. Organs and guitars call and respond to one another with counterpoint melodies over an infectious head-bobbing groove. “Mama Owl” ventures into psychedelic territory, and though nods to reggae provide the structure, the song is more of a soundscape. “Cold Pork Chops” stays consistent with the laid back attitude of the other songs, but veers into funkier territory. A drum kit drives the tune with a swinging ‘60s shuffle, and a punchy bassline has the dads biting their lower lips.
There’s plenty of hooks to snag in the mind, and lovers of Charlotte Gainsbourg’s later work or Air’s transcendent Moon Safari should eat this album up. Laid back but not lazy, Mama Owl Can Hear It longs to be the soundtrack to a happy rainy afternoon spent not worrying about too much. (Hutch Hill, May 17, 2017)
Release Date: November 24, 2016