Aptly named, Oliver’s latest release on Native Language Music contains large doses of both positivity and energy. With hardly a minor chord darkening his way, Oliver virtually bursts through a listener’s defenses with optimistic exhortation and jubilation. Even so, the tracks on Positive + Energy remain distinct from each other, rather than flowing through a stream of sameness that other CD’s may offer. For instance, "Mr. Hipster" encourages dancing and grooving through its modified hiphop beat, while "Festevo" suggests a south-of-the-border carnival, complete with reveling trumpet and saxophones. The track "Positive Energy" lives up to its name with a repetitive vamp that virtually projects a feeling of goodwill.
Oliver seems to be indebted to George Benson for much of his technique, right down to the unison singing and guitar playing. Indeed, the fills on "Mr. Hipster" are reminiscent of Benson’s "Give Me The Night." Nevertheless, Oliver has recruited some of Los Angeles’ more accomplished musicians, including Will Kennedy and Brian Bromberg to contribute to the album’s overall success, which, yes, is entirely energetic in a positive sort of way. Which is something that the world needs more of.