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CONNY OCHS (Black Happy) LP/CD

Conny Ochs' second solo album is a heartbreaking, simple, beautiful, strangely comforting piece of work. He goes deep into feelings but without sticky sentimentalism and his brilliance for soft, haunting, yet catchy melodies is well represented on 'Black Happy'. In terms of musical transition, it isn't a huge difference from 'Raw Love Songs' (review here), as certain vital elements - the earthiness, the melancholic nature of the songs, and the lyricism, are all retained.

In addition, there's still a folky vibe, but basically it has a blend of styles that would place it outside of any specific folk tradition. As well as folk I hear a touch of blues, gospel, rock 'n' roll and rhythm and blues, which all have been perfectly incorporated in Conny Ochs' own dark shimmering world. But let's forget all pigeonholing, because the thing that makes this album so good is the quality of the songs. His soulful vocals take centerstage (as they should), and it was a great idea to add female background vocals to two of the included 11 songs. Especially 'Die In Your Arms' is a perfect example for that.

All songs literally breathe on the record, each one of them given the space and freedom to take their time. Its an easy album to get lost in, and one that draws the listener back for multiple listens. Conny Ochs is a fabulous talent. Don't miss out.