Hooverphonic
The President Of The LSD Golf Club


4.0
excellent

Review

by Trey Spencer STAFF
December 11th, 2007 | 13 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Hooverphonic finally top their Sophomore album, and they do so without having to go back and steal ideas.

Hooverphonic and Lunik are two Trip-Hop bands with similar pasts. Both started out as basic Trip-Hop with above average female vocalists, and both bands slowly evolved away from that core sound and began incorporating other ideas into their music. Whereas Lunik slowly headed towards the greener pastures of acoustic Pop, Hooverphonic decided to take a huge turn into left field and create some very strange music. By their third album, The Magnificent tree, it literally felt as if you were taking an auditory trip through the metaphorical rabbit hole. On that album they mixed Trip-Hop with a slight Indie/Shoegaze influence, as well as occasional cartoon-like refrains and vocals, odd melodies and sounds, and generally weird subject matter.

On this album they have backed off from the weirdest and most eccentric traits of that album, but have also fully embraced a homogenous mixture of Indie and Trip Hop that was only hinted at in the past. A good comparison for those who are aware of these bands would be to combine Slowdive with Massive Attack. The beats are still Trip Hop, but an actual drummer now performs them and will throw in the occasional fill to let you know he’s alive and not programmed. Also, they’ve included a real bass player and more guitar sounds into their mix of strange 60’s-influenced keyboards, and Electronica-based sounds. Whether you think that sounds good or not is open to interpretation, but in my opinion it has lead to their best release in their decade of existence.

The album starts off with a solid song called “Stranger” which immediately alleviated my fears that Hooverphonic may have delved farther into the weirdness of The Magnificent Tree (just look at the album title and tell me it wasn’t possible). It’s a chill song with a mellow, organic Trip-Hop beat, washed over with various synth and piano melodies, as well as a repeating clean guitar melody. Of course, the song wouldn’t be complete without the vocals of Geike Arnaert that float effortlessly over the music. Overall this is a solid introductory song and a good indicator of the album as a whole.

One thing I’ve always liked about Hooverphonic is that their songs are always different from each other, each containing their own personality, and on this release things are no different. In addition to the chill Tip-Hop songs, we also have more Indie style songs such as “Expedition Impossible” with its fuzzy bass guitar sound, keyboards that share a lot in common with a band such as The Doors, and a slightly more upbeat direction. Earlier I mentioned that they dropped a lot of their more weird elements from this album, but that doesn’t mean that they’ve suddenly gone conventional as the closing track, “Bohemian Laughter” demonstrates. It has an odd bass guitar line; spaced-out, almost formless keyboard sounds, and some truly strange spoken/sang parts from Geike, ending uncharacteristically with a distorted guitar riff and some chaotic drumming.

With this release Hooverphonic have finally topped the album widely considered to be their best, Blue Wonder Power Milk, and they did it without having to simply rehash the ideas from that album. Their flawless mixture of Indie, Shoegaze, and Trip Hop, would appeal to fans of all three genres and would also probably even appeal to those who have enjoyed the latest albums by a band such as The Gathering. Upon listening to this album you’ll realize that Hooverphonic has released an album that was able to retain their Trip Hop roots while still moving forward into their own unique sound… now if only Lunik had done the same thing.



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user ratings (20)
Chart.
4.2
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
December 11th 2007


16019 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The first two songs are from this album on their Myspace Page:

http://www.myspace.com/hooverphonic

You can also hear songs from this album on their official site:

http://www.hooverphonic.com/

Edit: The better examples are on their Official Website.This Message Edited On 12.11.07

Digging: Skrew - Universal Immolation

BallsToTheWall
December 11th 2007


44477 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Solid review. Don't know anything about Trip Hop but I've always been interested by the name. Actually might myspace this later on.

Digging: Tove Lo - Queen of the Clouds

Willie
Moderator
December 11th 2007


16019 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This particular album isn't pure Trip Hop, so if you check them out don't think that this album represents that sound or genre... although, it would probably be a good "gateway album" for someone trying to ease into the genre.

BallsToTheWall
December 11th 2007


44477 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Just listened to Gentle Storm I gotta say, I enjoyed that song. Going to listen to Expidition now. Man, this is cool. I might buy this.

Willie
Moderator
December 11th 2007


16019 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm glad... It's always cool to expose someone to music they haven't heard before... especially if they like it.

Oblivioncry
December 11th 2007


601 Comments


oi, i liked the review

a trip hop act actually 'playing' sounds good enough to hook me, i will surely check em out. especially coz i am back into Triphop again

unretrovertigofied
December 11th 2007


220 Comments


Good review again man, where do you find all these obscure bands?! Your taste is good though, but i'm still filthy with you for calling Agua De Annique's 'Air' album "the best work Anneke's ever been a part of". I just can't seem to get into that album.
I'll be checking this album out real soon though.

Willie
Moderator
December 11th 2007


16019 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ha ha, thanks. I got in the habit of exploring beyond the radio and stuff when I was growing up, because my older cousin knew all these bands and random label reps and he was always hooking me up with random music... so I've always made an effort to search for the random stuff over the more conventional mainstream stuff.
As for Anneke's new album... I can't help it, and I can't take it back because I still believe it... although, depending on my mood "How to Measure a Planet" might sound better to me.

LF96
December 12th 2007


97 Comments


These guys are actually pretty huge in Belgium (which is their homeland), not some obscure triphop band or something. Blue Wonder Powder Milk is not their debut, it's their second album. Their debut is A New Stereophonic Sound Spectacular which is much more triphop than everything after it.

Anyway, I haven't heard this album yet, but I'm not the biggest fan of the single (Expedition Impossible) though it has been growing on me somewhat.

Willie
Moderator
December 12th 2007


16019 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

These guys are actually pretty huge in Belgium (which is their homeland), not some obscure triphop band or something. Blue Wonder Powder Milk is not their debut, it's their second album. Their debut is A New Stereophonic Sound Spectacular which is much more triphop than everything after it.

Anyway, I haven't heard this album yet, but I'm not the biggest fan of the single (Expedition Impossible) though it has been growing on me somewhat.
They may be huge in Belgium but they're fairly unknown over in the States. I'm not sure where you saw "Blue Wonder" labeled as their debut, maybe you just misread the review or a comment somewhere. I've been listening to these guys since their debut and slowly seen them evolve into what they are now.
Anyway, don't judge the album on the single... the rest of it is much better. There's elements from their first three albums on this one.


Zebra
Moderator
December 12th 2007


2647 Comments


I've got Hooverphonic's first two albums and I really enjoy both of them. I often forget about this band and I'm not sure why because their 90's albums are so excellent. This was a great review, I'll listen to those myspace tracks sometime today.

Willie
Moderator
December 12th 2007


16019 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The studio albums after their first two are kind of more hit and miss, but this one brings things back to the quality and consistancy of their first two.
The live album, "Sit Down and Listen To", is really good too.

Typhoner
December 27th 2012


861 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is certainly one of their best efforts. They were able to move away from the trip hop, but still being interesting. Sadly, that's not the case for their latest stuff.



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