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26th October 2001

Amazon reviews
I don't think anyone dislikes this album. I can't wait for the NME's review though! Here's what Amazon have to say:

Running Girl is the follow-up to Ooberman's debut album The Magic Treehouse. The incandescent "Shorley Wall", a single from The Magic Treehouse, was the minor indie hit that first endeared blossoming indie starlets Ooberman to the fey brigade. But where that single was bright, breezy and bulging with pop's lucky charms, Running Girl suggests something tremendously unfortunate has occurred in Ooberland. Beyond the brooding, fizzling opening title track--a rare, noisy Ooberman aberration--this is a work of folksome sadness, all finger-picked guitars and delicate, hushed vocals. "Flashing Light at Sunset" and "Here Come the Ice Wolves" find the band's past uber-twee excesses thankfully curtailed--the former a star-gazing torch-song sung by Sophia Churney, the latter delving into eerily mediaeval, fairy-tale territory, but stopping just short of sugar-plum fairy cutsieness. Where the grand pop moments do come, then--see the heart-warming explosion of elegant sentiment that forms the climax of "We'll Know When We Get There"--they sound truly rousing. It's a quiet achievement. --Louis Pattison

- posted by James at 8:05 PM

25th October 2001

Review from Teletext
Here is the latest review of the Running Girl mini-album, this one is from Teletext, page 450.

Two years on from Blossoms Falling and Shorley Wall, the wistful Liverpudlians return with a similarly gentle mini-album on their own RotoDisc label.

Rightly being heralded by Mark & Lard, their debut album was the Magic Treehouse - but this is an enchanted garden.

Always staying on the right side of a captivating innocence, rather than becoming twee or sickly, frustrations only arise at the brevity of two songs whose addictive melodies are over in under a minute. Blissful stuff.

- posted by James at 12:09 PM

24th October 2001

First interview hath surfaced...
Here is the interview from Teletext p. 453. Now say "Thank you for typing that up for us James". Thank you.

...and there's a review, too
Here's a review of Running Girl from Losing Today. It's a biggie:

Be prepared to be chilled, romanced and taken to a world previously the fairytale playground of childlike innocence, transported to the gentle backwaters where imaginations run with wild abandon. 'Running Girl' is underplayed as a mini album that within besets a masterpiece feat of gloriously wonderment filled symphonies and imagery.

Acting as a taster for a full length project promised for next year under the working title 'Hey Petrunko', Ooberman's 'Running Girl' is a craftily worked spellbinding assault that has taken two years to come to fruition. Popplewell and Co have managed to create a photographic album of memories that in the meagre 27 minutes seem to tangle and tease with the emotions, providing a serious resting of the gauntlet for others to attempt to take on.

'Running Girl' is touched throughout with a statuesque beauty that defies description, of the nine tracks on offer it's really difficult to find an Achilles heel such is the combined wintery flow they provide. Simply charmed with a sense of being out of fashion and out of time, 'Running Girl' offers the chance to step through the magical gateways in The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe to another world where goblins and ice queens lurk in the shadows. Immediately accessible, it clips between sublime folk extremes, the heart tugging string arrangements give it a mystical and mythical air, often haunting and forever timeless.

Opening with the title track, 'Running Girl' is in part uncharacteristic of the albums overall feel, vibrantly upbeat, a fractured mix of old English psychedelic folk with a glitzy parcel wrapping of a Tommy like rock opera. The 'rock opera' feel doesn't diminish, a feint Dickensian mood descends across the symphonies like crisply fallen snow. 'We'll know when we get there' hits breathlessly heavenly peaks and courageous lows, while 'Here comes the ice wolves' basks in a magnificent swirl of eerie strings and 'sugar plum fairy' like tip toeing, awash with all manner of lullaby like melodies.

Perhaps if reference points were to be offered you'd be wise to check Prefab Sprouts 'Andromeda Heights' as a starting point. Both seem to have a common denominator in that they both seek to take pop music out of its more associated confines and move the goalposts to more sophisticated and acknowledged territories.

Tracks like 'Ghosts' have more than a chilling familiarity that would suggest some kind of link from pop to the kind of spooky soundtrack of 'The Nightmare before Christmas', one thing is certain, 'Running Girl' possesses a myriad of feelings innate within us all.

Ooberman have created within 'Running Girl' a positively polished and professional mini masterpiece which will make you swoon, cry, laugh and be amazed, above all the emotions it taps will live with you forever. A classic.

- posted by James at 6:53 PM

23rd October 2001

On Thursday 25th October there'll be an interview with Dan Pop on CH4 Teletext p. 453 ...says the official website.

- posted by James at 6:30 PM

22nd October 2001

Single goes running...
Here is a positively rubbish review taken from Teletext (C4, P450):

Confession time: Earls liked their comeback single enough to take it home, forgot to bring it back to the office and can't remember what it sounds like (other than "er, as sweet and lovely as the last Ooberman album.") Look, it's Friday afternoon and the pub's calling.

- posted by James at 3:38 PM

21st October 2001

Yet another good review...
Here is a review from The Time's Play Magazine:

Ludicrously dumped by their label after just one album, Ooberman's comeback single is released on their own label. And it's a corker. Sure, Running Girl's folky-psychadelia is reminiscent of early Pink Floyd, but the songwriter Danny Popplewell has not lost his ability to depict fragile lives. Running Girl is a swirling epic about someone who "thinks she's as faint as a ghost" and "doesn't know why she runs......but she runs". It aims at the heart and scores a bull's-eye. There is no higher praise.

{thanks to Claire}

- posted by James at 9:29 PM

Another review
Another review of the Running Girl EP, this time from It goes a bit like this:

The long awaited return of Ooberman is finally here and what a joy it is to listen to! Harking back to the early days of Ooberman, Danny Popplewell has created a magical piece of music that is bound to receive acclaim from all quarters, as the Shorley Wall EP did a few years back.

Gone are the power pop tracks such as Blossoms Falling, Stormtrooper and Bees - replaced with the real Ooberman. Since being dropped by Independiente there's been no pressure from above, allowing Danny to express exactly what he wants in his writing. He lived in the studio for a month to be free from distractions, surrounding himself in magical music, searching for inspiration. It worked.

Title track 'Running Girl' has already earned Ooberman daytime plays on Radio One. It rivals Shorley Wall for the accolade of best Oober-song, with it's synthesised vocals and dreamy melody taking you right to the heart of Popplewell's meaning. The song is about a girl not knowing which way to turn, she's crying out for help - something Ooberman are hoping the fans and radio stations will give them in promoting this gem of a mini-album. "She's a single face in the crowd and she runs to the sound of her heart, and she doesn't know why that she runs, but she runs".

After the wonderful Running Girl the pace slows down somewhat, but 'Flashing Light at Sunset' is a fabulous example of the depth of the band - with the sole female member Sophia Churney showcasing her beautiful voice.

'We'll Know When We Get There' combines the voices of Danny and Sophia above an uplifting background in a song that surely should've been saved for the upcoming album 'Hey, Petrunko'. You just won't be able to stop yourself tapping your feet and nodding your head to this one!

'Here Come The Ice Wolves' and 'Ghosts' are older tracks that were previously debuted on the last Oober-tour, but fit in perfectly on this shiny little disc. The latter in particular a short but sweet highlight of the EP, which is in shops on the 29 October.

Ooberman have gone away, taken stock, regrouped and come back with a stonking collection of nine tracks that's long enough to be an album in its own right. Fans of the lively, bouncy material such as Bees and Blossoms Falling may be disappointed, but anyone who was touched by Sophia's tears on Shorley Wall will find themselves falling in love with the band once again.

Ooberman have grown up and become more beautiful than ever before!

- posted by James at 12:41 PM

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