Say Hi has broken up 37 times in the last decade. If the band were a traditional four-piece rock outfit, things would have run their course shortly before the release of the first record in 2002. However, sole member Eric Elbogen manages to continue moving forward, despite the ample foils that keep presenting themselves.
Um, uh oh is the result of the last ten years of Eric Elbogen’s experiences with failing at relationships, both musical and otherwise. Its narrators repeat the same mistakes over and over again. They watch joy from afar. They self-loath utterly and completely. They drive and they drive and they drive. They anticipate mortality. They look up from decades of tedium to find that joints now creak and opportunities have long passed. They hide their mortification from others as best as they can. They take deep breaths. They get punched in the gut.
The record is weary and blue-noted, revealing, personal and pained and there’s expressiveness in his performance absent from previous releases. In fact, it’s difficult to fathom that the songwriter that wrote the sugary frivolity of the early Say Hi material could have written such a mature collection of songs. If you’ve been a fan in the past, you’re going to feel that um, uh oh is a large step in the evolution of the band. If you haven’t, this is the release that’s going to change your mind.