Didn't ever...Hasn't Since... (My Own Planet)
By: Alex Steininger
On his second full-length album (first with a band), former Sage frontman, and guitar player for Sky Cries Mary and Mark Lanegan, Marc Olsen steps forward with a gusty, folk-infused pop-rock record sure to send chills down your back with Marc's dark, whispery voice and talented songwriting.
The lead track, "Missed," seems to be a rocker from the get go. As Olsen strikes his guitar, and the drums and bass slowly enter to build up the song, it is clear that this number has muscle. But then Olsen comes in with his dark, whispery voice and the whole tone of the song changes. Instead of being an intense rocker, like it was building too, it is an intricate pop-rock number with ample folk influences, among others.
This seems to be the entire tone of the album; Olsen will build you up with what seems to be a rocker, and when his voice enters, the song completely changes (for the better). "No Surprise" possesses a hip-shaking bass line and toe tappin' drumbeat, while the guitar twinkles, making it a shiny number to just let loose and have fun with. But, with Olsen's voice and lyrics, the song is also one you can sit down and chew on. The music is there for you to have fun with, and if it is lyrics you want, they're there too.
Slowing things down, "Your Day," with some lap steel to help drive home the emotional sting of the song, is a deep and dark number that lets go of the pop and goes straight for some rootsy-rock grooves to help the lyrics fully sink in. Olsen's voice is at its best when the song is soft and deep, like this one, as he is highly effective, with his slightly depressed, sad voice, in getting each and every word to gently enter your head and rest comfortably in your mind.
"Horse is White," picks up the pace though, back to some trademark Olsen rock 'n' roll. The rhythm section is hard at work creating a driving rhythm to role around in the song, while Olsen's guitar helps build you up with what promises to be a tight rock number. This time, though, he delivers, as his voice merges with the rock beats and forms a powerful tune that will have your head spinning and ears attentive.
"Leaving Tomorrow" sees Olsen settling back down, as he throws some more deep, troubling emotions your way in a relaxed, comfortable setting. His voice is as pure and honest as they come, which makes the words that much more powerful. The easy-going nature of the song works in his favor too, as this is what best suits his voice, and gives him the most territory to play in. Of course, that allows him to deliver one of the most potent, intoxicating numbers on the album.
A strong songwriter from head to toe, Marc Olsen delivers the goods on his second album. Full of emotions, heart felt pain, and words about day to day life as he sees it, DIDN'T EVER...HASN'T SINCE... proves that Marc definitely has a future as a solo artist. I'll give this album an A.