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Lonnie Holley (feat. Michael Stipe), 'Oh Me, Oh My'

It's hard to imagine someone angrily shouting, "Oh me, oh my." Far from a "no way" or "what the ****," it's a statement of surprise that arrives with contemplation. Septuagenarian Lonnie Holley repeatedly croons it across this track of the same name, which bears an identical title to his forthcoming album out March 10.

As graceful piano chords and atmospheric synth pads channel a spiritual aura, Holley sing-speaks as if he's an oracle. "Humans, please listen," he begins his decree, his craggy voice revealing decades of wisdom. "It's alright to wonder a little deeper." He recounts his grandma's love for the famous hymn "Lift Every Voice and Sing," of the beauty in community, of the miracle that is our one short life. As the song gets buoyed by gliding double bass, its thalassic ebb and flow is a call to be patient with others — something that's symbolized by how R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe intertwines his voice with Holley's. There's no climax, just an opportunity to experience beauty moment by moment.

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Joshua Minsoo Kim