Gen Obata,
Better Off On the Run
(self-produced, 2001)

The standard of writing on these self-produced albums never fails to amaze. It is the blessing and the curse of modern technology that these fine songwriters can produce CDs of their work, but without exposure they will not get proper recognition or reward.

Gen Obata is completely new to me and with little information accompanying the CD I will judge it completely on the content. In general it is a very country-folk sounding album with a mixture of tracks.

The title track, "Better Off On the Run," is a very good story song with a sad tale of a person who feels that life has little to offer -- "I ran away before I could walk." Meanwhile, the final track has a sort of crime drama tale to tell. "The Burning Game" is a story straight out of the television movie world, which I will not explain too much as, like all mystery stories, finding the dŽnouement is best left to the listener.

In between there are some very good country-style songs. There are tales of infidelity, lost love and longing. "I Want You Still" is one of these with some clever lyrics and a catchy tune.

Once again, the songs are worthy of a wider audience and with proper airplay could make the writer/singer/producer a well-known name.

[ by Nicky Rossiter ]
Rambles: 15 September 2001