Idaho
Hearts of Palm


4.0
excellent

Review

by Maximilian Harkness USER (65 Reviews)
October 13th, 2008 | 18 replies


Release Date: 2000 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Idaho releases an album that reacts its full potential for the most part.

Random Album Submission:

Idaho – Hearts of Palm


Idaho is an alt. rock band formed in the early nineties by Jeff Martin and John K. Berry, and since then they have been making a unique brand of piano-centric alt. rock with some slowcore influences. For years now, they’ve been making excellent music that should have been catchy enough to hit the alt. rock radar, especially in the 90s, but due to under promotion from their labels, they failed to catch much attention. Jeff Martin changed members, got rid of Mr. K. Berry, replaced him with Dan Seta, and eventually replaced both of them and Idaho would become Jeff’s solo project. However, looking back to 2000, the band’s fifth album Hearts of Palm , Jeff Martin made some truly heart breaking and excellent music back in the day.

Some things that make Idaho unique for their genre is the major focus on the layers. Most of the songs on Hearts of Palm blends piano and guitar to create a soothing yet bleek mixture of layers, creating an obscure, blackened atmosphere . It’s somewhat an oddity for the alt. rock genre, but it definitely gets the job done. Nearly all of the songs incorporate this in a good way, like in “To Be the One”, which starts out with a very hypnotic rhythm and some soothing piano playing, and then everything just halts and the song suddenly centers all on lead singer Jeff Martin. Just a few songs later, the ironically depressing “Happy Times” comes along with some slow paced acoustic guitars, and leads into a chorus with a sludgy sounding lead guitar. while it may be too slow or depressing for some people’s taste, the piano perfectly fits the atmosphere Hearts of Palm creates

Where the album truly gets its atmosphere, though, are lyrics and vocals of Jeff Martin. Throughout the record, Martin’s saddening swooning is akin to that of an angel. A very sad angel, perhaps, but an angel nonetheless, and with such a clean and accessible vocal style, just about anybody can appreciate his voice despite what their opinion may be towards the music. Another great feature of the album is his lyrics. On Hearts of Palm, lyricist Jeffy just writes about his life and issues that he deals with, or maybe writes some humorously sarcastic lyrics that make him sound like he’s happy (“Happy Time”, “Dum Dum”).

If there is an issue with the album, it lies in how repetitive it becomes. Though the songs do try to sound unique and different on their own, each song sounds sort of the same with a couple of exceptions. “Happy Times” stands out due to its much slower, sludgy rhythm and its somewhat joking nature. The final instrumental track “Under” is a stand out, but in a bad way. The song sounds beautiful for the first four minutes, but then eventually drains out, and consistently bores for three minutes. As the album fades out, Martin tries his hand at creating an ambiance by incorporating the sounds of crickets chirping. It’s a misguided attempt to infuse an unnecessary aesthetic into an album that works perfectly without it.

By centering the album around his melancholy and light piano-playing, Marting Freeman allows his album to reach its full potential. However, the only places the album starts to lack a bit is songwriting, and at times, his ability to draw out his post rock influences to the point of boredom (“Under” in particular). I would recommend this album to fans of both post rock and alt. rock, but be warned; the album may eventually grow tiring by the end.

What’s good about Hearts of Palm:
  • Happy Times
  • The atmosphere
  • Vocals and lyrics
  • Jeff Martin

What’s bad about Hearts of Palm:
  • Under
  • Songwriting could be taken up a notch.




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user ratings (21)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
bastard
October 13th 2008


3435 Comments


w00t I did it.

Big thanks to iarescientists for helping me edit this.

fireaboveicebelow
October 13th 2008


6837 Comments


this sounds interesting, good review, I'll go get this

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
October 13th 2008


15743 Comments


isn't that tampering with the official results!

anyway this review makes it sound kind of boring.

Digging: Flying Lotus - You're Dead!

iarescientists
October 13th 2008


5863 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

isn't that tampering with the official results!


i'm not deciding the final votes, it will be put up for democracy to decide

bastard
October 13th 2008


3435 Comments


anyway this review makes it sound kind of boring.


I can see how it might be, but I find this album to be pretty good.

Elixirs
October 13th 2008


93 Comments


if zach helped you with this then you should probably avoid letting him help you in the future!

iarescientists
October 13th 2008


5863 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

D :

bastard
October 13th 2008


3435 Comments


silly eliminator

Elixirs
October 13th 2008


93 Comments


you should let me preview your reviews. i won't submit them or anything.

bastard
October 13th 2008


3435 Comments


ov course not.

joshuatree
Emeritus
October 13th 2008


3742 Comments


you should let me preview your reviews. i won't submit them or anything.


http://www.sputnikmusic.com/album.php?albumid=16330

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
October 13th 2008


17920 Comments


if zach helped you with this then you should probably avoid letting him help you in the future!


lol 123

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
October 13th 2008


17920 Comments


there are so many wtf sentences in here

bastard
October 13th 2008


3435 Comments


This review maybe a contestant in a game that may win him a re-write. It's either this, my Lie Lie Live review, or my Soup review.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
October 13th 2008


15743 Comments


there are so many wtf sentences in here


like this?

This review maybe a contestant in a game that may win him a re-write.


marksellsuswallets
October 13th 2008


4848 Comments


"wonderful clash of layers" is kind of an oxymoron dontcha think? I mean unless it was meant to be an oxymoron in which case go you...

bastard
October 13th 2008


3435 Comments


yeah go oxymorons!

handoman
October 16th 2008


2386 Comments


I like this album a lot.



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