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Oliver Tree? More Like Sydney Disagrees

  Like some sort of nefarious freak, I pride myself on listening to music that is either slightly obscure or that my peers have never heard of. I never learned to play an instrument or sing or keep time or anything musical, and so to compensate for that, I’ve developed a music taste that I consider to be relatively unique. However, a wise woman recently brought to my attention that my music taste is so sophisticated that it comes off as pretentious. She was not wrong, like at all. And because of that, I asked my fellow Round Table contributors to give me something that I’ve never listened to before. The one, the only Jimmy suggested Oliver Tree, and I honestly had no clue who he was until I delved deeper into his Wikipedia AND Spotify pages. 

   So who even is Oliver Tree? He’s a twenty-something internet personality who resides in California. Believe it or not, before adopting this persona he puts on, he was in a ska band called Irony. After Irony, he performed with hip-hop group MindFuck, DJ’d occasionally under the pseudonym “Tree,” then stopped for a while to attend Cal Arts. Fast forward to 2017, and he’s signed to Atlantic Records, my personal least favorite major record label. 

   I’ll be honest, I liked my life a lot more before I found out about Oliver Tree because I can’t stop thinking about how it seems like every other month, some goofy white guy who’s so ugly that it makes him cute goes out to buy a guitar and then they somehow make it big. There’s a reason why these types of characters make it big: they have more charm than talent. Indie music listeners got bored with the likes Mac Demarco, and rightfully so, so they moved onto Oliver Tree; a near carbon copy of Demarco with significantly less artistic merit. 

   I’m not one to care much about lyrical content. I’m sitting, writing this article while listening to Cypress Hill’s Black Sunday that contains songs like “Hits from the Bong,” and “I Wanna Get High.” so it’s not that. although it’s the slightest drop of emotion, i do feel like tree puts at least some effort into his lyrics, but at times it gets hard to take it seriously with lines like “Maybe it was me who was fucking up” or “I fell down to earth from a hundred miles away, and somehow I still make it work, but it’s overrated and somehow played out,” it’s so hard to take him seriously because he is trying so hard to be deep and philosophical that it just feels so artificial. I’m no expert on Descartes or Plato, so lyrics like this are more cringe worthy than impressive to me.

   As for the sonic aspect of his music, it sounds a lot like emo rap, a genre created not too long ago popularized by figures who are now mostly dead. Pardon me for sounding like a boomer, but to me, emo rap has always been a joke funneled right into the spotlight somehow to glorify use of really dangerous drugs. Emo music was a genre that died in the early 2000s and whoever tried to revive it through rap music is responsible for Oliver Tree and because of that, they should be sued. 

 

5 thoughts on “Oliver Tree? More Like Sydney Disagrees”

  1. You're an idiot. says:

    How do you open an article with “I listen to obscure or unknown music” and then present Oliver Tree like he’s some sort of back-woods boy-wonder that just popped up? Dominic Fike would be a better argument for that case but I digress, this whole article is garbage. Your verbiage is so contrived that I refuse to believe you wrote this sober. Please get help and put down that 2nd glass of Chardonnay before you take to the internet to share half-baked ideas on what defines good music as per your Pratt lib-art degree.

  2. Ryan Atlan says:

    I have never heard such ignorance and stupidity in my life. A three minute Google search of Oliver Tree shows that he presents himself as overly cartoonish and outlandish rather than serious and philosophical as Sydney claims. If Sydney had truly taken the five minutes to read through Oliver’s Wikipedia page as she claims she did, she would know this as well. Poorly written article from a bad writer.

  3. Don Keibals says:

    You rhymed tree with disagrees and have the audacity to criticize lyrical content? You’re a writer, he’s a musician. Also good job on pointing out that he’s ugly. He has an album called ugly is beautiful, maybe there’s some poetry there that you missed. Also Oliver tree doesn’t sound even remotely like Mac DeMarco, so I don’t know what you’re point was, the market doesn’t have enough room for two “ugly white guys”. Anyways great job, you don’t actually sound pretentious though because pretention is elitist snobbery, you’re just ignorant.

  4. Christopher Shane Brown says:

    Pretentious. So… You missed the goal of the exercise completely Karen.

  5. Tyler says:

    Wow, yikes. The only thing cringe-worthy here is the throne you sit on with the perspective you’ve written this from.

    “I’ve developed a music taste that I consider to be relatively unique. However, a wise woman recently brought to my attention that my music taste is so sophisticated that it comes off as pretentious. She was not wrong, like at all.”

    I couldn’t have rolled my eyes any harder. People who toot their own horn like this always seem to think their onto something ‘different’, yet produce the same shallow and smooth-brained opinion pieces over and over again.

    Suggesting that you need to understand Descartes or Plato to interpret a line like “I fell down to earth from a hundred miles away, and somehow I still make it work, but it’s overrated and somehow played out” is a stretch. In reality, that lyric is more fruitful and straightforward than the entirety of what you’ve just written. To me, it serves as a clever hook with solid sonic execution in the song, and it gives a chance for Tree to place the listener in a story-like setting while also conveying his feelings without getting lost in overindulgent prose.

    I’m not even going to continue to pick apart this lump of words you’ve published here. I hope one day you may reflect on this piece (and in other pieces if they are similar – I’m not familiar with your writing) and think ‘eugh’. I’m not sure you even expected that anyone would read this.

    I have respect for all sorts of musical opinions, and I’m not a broad fan of Oliver Tree, but you’ve got to come with some substance if you’re going to try and approach music analysis pieces with any ounce of merit. Otherwise you could have just written “I don’t really like Oliver Tree’s music.” and called it finished. Also, consider taking a chance to review your writing before you post it. This is littered with grammar errors and really poor syntax.

    Wishing you the best in growth as a writer.

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