Who is Oliver Tree and why is Internet obsessed with his debut and last album 'Ugly is Beautiful'?

The album has been a long time coming, and fans have waited patiently for years, but it appears it may be his last


                            Who is Oliver Tree and why is Internet obsessed with his debut and last album 'Ugly is Beautiful'?
(Josh Brasted/Getty Images)
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Oliver Tree has finally dropped his debut album 'Ugly Is Beautiful' and it has already taken his fans by storm.

Tweeting in the early hours of July 17, Tree shared, "MY DEBUT ALBUM 'UGLY IS BEAUTIFUL' IS OUT NOW! I WORKED ON IT FOR 5 YEARS AND NOW FINALLY I SHARE MY MAGNUM OPUS! LISTEN TO IT IN ORDER TO HEAR THE FULL STORY." Fans jumped right on that, and as one shared, "First song in and I busted." From start to finish, the album is an electro-pop/alt-rock ride that is truly fitting for one such as Oliver Tree, who amazingly dropped new music amid a sea of new releases and still managed to hold his own.

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"Blackbear, Oliver Tree, Eslabon Armado AND Jhené Aiko... WHEW CHILE," shared one evidently overwhelmed fan, highlighting just how good Tree's record was as it rubbed shoulders with several other gifted artistes' new albums. "Yooooo Oliver Tree’s new album has finally dropped let’s fu***n gooooo," stated one excited fan, while another quipped, "I guess its time to sit back under this - Oliver Tree - debut fire." One fan said, "Oliver tree dropping his album really is my week," and another shared "Who gave him the right... why does 1993 slap as hard as it does... and I’m Gone too.... what the f**k mr Oliver Tree Nickell."

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So, just who is Oliver Tree and why, indeed, does his debut album 'slap as hard as it does'? Going off the artist's own tweets, the answer would lie here: "I'm Oliver Tree and I built the World’s Biggest Scooter...I've trained for 3 years for this historical moment." His tryst with music, however, is far more epic and has certainly taken even longer. Tree, a singer/songwriter, producer, rapper, comedian, and filmmaker, originally signed to Atlantic Records in 2017 following his song 'When I'm Down' earning fame.

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He soon earned the tag of being an artist "who's part meme, part something less definable". 'Ugly Is Beautiful' was first teased at the end of 2018 with the single 'Hurt', with Tree embarking on a tour of the same name right after. 'Do You Feel Me?', an EP, dropped in 2019, featuring four tracks off 'Ugly Is Beautiful'. At the end of 2019, Tree released the single 'Cash Machine' and embarked on another tour, this time named after his new, and at the time unreleased, album.

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'Ugly Is Beautiful' was then scheduled for a March release, but was repeatedly delayed on account of the Covid-19 pandemic, with Tree eventually joking that the album was canceled and that he would release it "within the next 5-10 years," even going as far as announcing he was "officially going into retirement." He then dropped 'Let Me Down' in April and joked that it was his "final song and video ever." Many more jokes later, he has finally dropped the whole album, this time stating, "'Ugly Is Beautiful' is my first album and my last album." And while some fans have taken it to heart, exclaiming, "Wait wait wait NO!!" others are seeing it as a running gag. But mostly, fans are just totally confused and unsure of what to expect, a truly fitting reaction to something from a meme lord like Tree.

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"I F*****G LOVE YOU!!!! I'm going to miss you so much. Thank you for all the memories," shared one fan, while another theorized, "This is his first and last album. To be honest even hardcore fans such as myself aren't sure of what's happening. I personally believe he's gonna retire this character that he portrays, Turbo, and go by a new stage name/character and make music as that person. But no one knows."

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Yet another fan stated, "Almost 100% he won't be coming back to music for a minute, in an interview he did with fantano he said he dislikes making music and that his label has absolutely f****d him from making music the way he wants and that he is going to go into film full time. who rlly knows though." In a Twitter Q&A, Tree reconfirmed that this was his last album "as Oliver Tree" while also calling out his label.

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Nonetheless, and all jokes and theories and potential retirements aside, the album itself is an absolute gem. Tree's persona, which embodies the 'ugly is beautiful' philosophy, shines through on the record. And the five long hard years of work are evident in its production. One fan shared, "Oliver I know you probably won’t see this but I want to thank you for being who you are and doing what you want to do and not being afraid of vocalizing how you feel. Your music means so much to me and I can relate you the things that you sing. Your creativity inspires me so much." Not all were happy however, with one fan stating, "First off, I really enjoyed 'Again & Again'. Now for the criticism. The album is good, but that's only because you pulled songs out of your previous albums that were full albums, not just singles. I don't understand why half of these songs were just songs I had already heard."

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Whether you're happy with the remastered tracks or not, it's evident the album itself is still a hit for Tree fans. Hopefully it's not the end of the road for him though.