Although all band members raised and grew up in Makassar city, South Sulawesi, Hollywood Nobody were formed in September 2005 in Bandung city, West Java, Indonesia. After five years interval of the formation, the band successfully released their debut album entitled Everything Happens for a Reason
in April 2010. In the line up, today Hollywood Nobody consist of vocalist Dian Safitri Irawan, keyboardist Irma Wahyuni, drummer Luthfi Erizka, bassist Dendy Revolusi, and guitarist Romy Febriansyah. They have gained a massive popularity among Indonesian indie-scenes after they participated in LA Light Indiefest
- a competition/festival seeking for talented indie bands. In that festival, they apparently succeeded to enter the final round, and as the prize they won amount of cash so as to record their full-length album.
In relation to the album itself, at least there are two major musical feel, styles, and atmosphere; bossanova and pop. When we hear tracks such as “Ballad of a Hero”, “Harmony in D Minor”, “Into Hate”, etc, we obviously can’t deny that the tracks have thick bossanova feel and atmosphere in them all. However, it’s also worthy to notice first, just keep in mind, the album is nowhere near to such a pure and technical bossanova execution that we always could find in big-name artists, say Charlie Byrd, Joao Gilberto, and or Antonio Carlos Jobim. Also, don’t expect much the kind of virtuoso improvisation from the band-members here, they played as a band unit, not typical improvisation oriented of jazz player. However, to be honest, through this album Hollywood Nobody relatively have shown their musical capability, and yes they are indeed proficient musicians. Guitar, bass, synthesizer keyboard, percussion, and drum sound nicely matched in unison. Vocalist Dian Safitri probably will remind the listeners to Astrud Gilberto, but those who have been familiar with Indonesian jazz scenes, they might agree that Dian a bit reminiscent of both singer Rafika Duri and Margie Segers, or even Ermy Kulit, instead!
Furthermore, in general point of a view, it is safe to say Hollywood Nobody take the simple form of bossanova, have its serenity and seriousness impression, and then they amalgamate it with cheerful pop mood. In some passages they also managed to put into the album some smooth jazz, soul and bluesy feel, particularly in rhythm and solo guitar sections - track "Love Me" is fine example though. Um, it is such a nice amalgamation, and as the result, in one hand the album is pretty amazing and enjoyable, and adequately serious and elegant in other hand. If you are familiar with classic hit of Astrud Gilberto’s “Girl from Ipanema”, you probably will like the tracks such as “Secret Nobody Knows”, “Into Hate”, and “I'll Still Leave” due to their laudable performance. They did get the feel and its atmosphere without leaving somewhat crispy elements of pop. Lastly, whenever you enjoy cover versions of The Cure’s “Love Song”, say 311's reggae version, you might enjoy Hollywood Nobody’s bossanova version. The band amazingly recycled that famous song with their own way and passion. If you are The Cure fans, you must be curious to taste it, and just go for it!
As whole, this is a good debut release, not too impressive but quite special, especially when you hear it after busy hours at work. Everything Happens for a Reason
is a fine choice if you are tired of typical banal pop music. Beside, it is also a good alternative option if you are planning to get simple but ‘classy’ bossanova stuff. Yes it is right, Hollywood Nobody will be there for you, and they will entertain you!*