Carey Ott
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Carey Ott

Nashville, Illinois, United States | INDIE

Nashville, Illinois, United States | INDIE
Band Pop Singer/Songwriter


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Lucid Dream' tells of love experiences that won't put you to sleep"

CAREY OTT - Lucid Dream - Dualtone - 3 and a half stars

What'll they say, years from now, about the rock music of the mid-'00s?

Were we in the middle of a glam renaissance, My Chemical Romance and Fall Out Boy jolting eyeliner and skinny jeans back into prominence? Or were we in the era of the song's resurgence, regular-dude acts like The Fray and Daniel Powter parlaying big, meaty chorus hooks into big hits, despite their cubicle-farmer-chic fashion sense?

Either seems likely enough. But if Nashville guy Carey Ott's new release, Lucid Dream, earns as broad an audience as its wide-net pop hooks seem to call to, regular-guy rock might get a pretty significant edge.

What Ott doesn't have is a shtick — he's not reinventing styles on Lucid Dream or doing anything overtly marketable, nor is he working the kind of haircut that earns lots of magazine features. (He's a good-looking, regular bald dude, bearing something akin to Powter's cute-carpenter pout.)

What he does have, however, is songs.

Lucid Dream is built on classic pop song forms, with bits of Beatles influence interwoven with folky arrangement simplicity, and the depth and tenderness (if not quite the drama) of Burt Bacharach or Rufus Wainwright's cabaret-pop. The songs are spit-shined bright, like The Fray's hits or Powter's, and they're instantly hummable, like those folks' hits too.

Ott sees fit to lyrically lean on the universal experiences of love lost and gained and cultivated. And, well, it's hard to wonder whether people are any more tired of silly love songs today than when Paul and Linda McCartney pondered the idea in the '70s, Ott crooning about love in such an un-silly way.

He coos "I want to tell you in my sleep that you inspire me" to open "Am I Just One," slow-steps through "Virginia" and calls, "You make me think/ You make me weak." It's a familiar kind of tenderness, and it's rendered in a familiar way, but it's also rendered in an elegant way.

The most astounding thing about Ott's Lucid Dream seems silly, in that it used to be the expected rule and is now the unexpected exception: There isn't a clunker of a song in the lot. Each verse is melodically compelling, each chorus soaring and evocative.

That glossy hummability doesn't do it for everybody, and the guy's heart-on-sleeve simplicity smells ripe for skewering, if eyeliner and skinny jeans are more your thing. But Lucid Dream certainly has enough irregularly compelling pop songs to nudge Ott into that new wave of hit-herding regular guys.


"Dream On"

nclude part-time Chicago bank teller Carey Ott on a short list that includes Ron Sexsmith, Neil Finn and Josh Rouse, sensitive, crafty souls whose ways with words pulls us in like fireflies. Whether finger-picking a slumber-filled McCartneyish summer song like "Kicking Stones," revving the '60s sunshine love in "You Got Love" or adopting a svelte falsetto in brisk opener "Am I Just One," Ott consistently hits all the right notes with a clear-eyed sense of joy. An album of small moments and pervasively uplifting melodies, Lucid Dream never delves too deep or shoots too high, Ott acting like a temperate street busker reflecting our lives as we rush by. He even alludes to cult favorites like Michael Penn ("Daylight") and David Gates (or is that Rufus Wainwright in "Hard to Change"?) Dream on.

- Ken Micallef / HARP Magazine / Sept.-Oct. 2006 - Harp Magazine

"Carey Ott - Lucid Dream"

Carey Ott - Lucid Dream Thursday March 16, 2006

It's no secret that singer/songwriters are a dime a dozen. However, long before you get to the first chorus of the opener "Am I Just One" it's clear that Chicago-born, Nashville-based tunesmith Carey Ott has a unique flair for executing catchy, thoughtful tunes. With the exception of a chiming Fender Rhodes, the instrumentation is stock bass/guitar/drums, but Ott and veteran producer Ray Kennedy have crafted an unusually warm and rich-sounding record that pairs the tunes with flawless arrangements.

Central to the recipe is Ott's voice, which floats effortlessly around and through the melodies. You'll hear a bit of the stark intimacy of singer/songwriters like Ron Sexsmith, but perhaps because Ott used to front the regional alt-rock band Torben Floor, there's the sense that you're listening to arrangements that were honed on the road by a well-oiled band. "Daylight" has a chorus that taps a classic Beatles progression -- the first of many on the disc; the outro of "Shelf Life" has some of the sweetest, most buoyant pop harmonies this side of the Beach Boys; and the title track is a paean to lucid dreaming that served as one of Ott's inspirations. Fact is, whether you're a sucker for pop hooks, good singing or a great pop band, there's little not to like on this record. My guess is "Lucid Dream" will end up on a number of "Top 10" lists for 2006.

- Michael Lipton Charleston Daily-Mail - Charleston Daily-Mail



"Lucid Dream" Carey Ott (Dualtone)
"Matinee" Torben Floor (BeautyRock)
"Live Music In The Apartment" Torben Floor (Waterdog)



Carey Ott led alt-rock band Torben Floor in Chicago for 7 years before moving to Nashville in 2004. Once there, he signed a deal with Dualtone Music Group and released his debut solo album, "Lucid Dream" in 2006. Carey has had his song "Am I Just One" featured on Grey's Anatomy three times. His sexy, summer anthem "I Wouldn't Do That To You" was featured on ABC's "Kyle XY." He enjoys long walks on the beach and steak tacos.