A detailed spectroscopic and electrochemical study of a series of novel phenolate bound complexes, of general formulas [M(L-L)(2)(box)](PF6), where M is Os and Ru, L-L is 2,2-bipyridine or 2,2-biquinoline, and box is 2-(2hydroxyphenyl)benzoxazole, is presented. The objectives of this study were to probe the origin of the LUMOs and HOMOs in these complexes, to elucidate the impact of metal and counter ligand on the electronic properties of the complex, and to identify the extent of orbital mixing in comparison with considerably more frequently studied quinoid complexes. [M(L-L)2(box)](PF6) complexes exhibit a rich electronic spectroscopy extending into the near infrared region and good photostability, making them potentially useful as solar sensitizers. Electrochemistry and spectroscopy indicate that the first oxidation is metal based and is associated with the M(II)/(III) redox states. A second oxidative wave, which is irreversible at slow scan rates, is associated with the phenolate ligand. The stabilities of the oxidized complexes are assessed using dynamic electrochemistry and discussed from the perspective of metal and counter ligand (LL) identity and follow the order of increasing stability [Ru(biq)(2)(box)](+) < [Ru(bpy)(2)(box)](+) < [Os(bpy)(2)-(box)](+). Electronic and resonance Raman spectroscopy indicate that the lowest energy optical transition for the ruthenium complexes is a phenolate (pi) to L-L (pi*) interligand charge-transfer transition (ILCT) suggesting the HOMO is phenolate based whereas electrochemical data suggest that the HOMO is metal based. This unusual lack of correlation between redox and spectroscopically assigned orbitals is discussed in terms of metal-ligand orbital mixing which appears to be most significant in the biquinoline based complex.