The Pillows
Horn Again



by instantradical USER (62 Reviews)
August 11th, 2017 | 5 replies

Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Pillows continue to wallow in musical flaccidity.

Alright, one more album of this crap until we get back into some sorta-compelling Pillows records. Horn Again is the last of The Pillows' worst three albums. Any of the songs from Horn Again, Pied Piper, and OOPARTS could be arrange in any order, and still be completely indistinct from each other. To someone unfamiliar with The Pillows, Horn Again will sound like competently-played, middle-of-the-road alternative rock. To Pillows fans, nothing short of microscopic examination will reveal anything of much value. This record is mass-produced pablum akin to every other record they've released with a the title in a big, all-caps Impact typeface, right down to yet another song nearly identical to Scarecrow ("Brilliant Crown").

Okay, look, there's one whole good song on here. One. "Movement" is a nice single with some good melodies that recall the best parts of albums like Good Dreams and My Foot, particularly in the verses. The guitar tones sound nice, and Sawao Yamanka's vocals are enjoyable. "Lily, My Sun" also isn't bad, but The Pillows have literally dozens of songs in the same vein that do the same thing, but better. "Sad Fad Love" has some nice guitar melodies, but Yamanaka's bland Engrish squawking drags it down.

Compounding the frustration about Horn Again is that as problem-ridden as it is, it's hard to really say anything bad about it. It's not filled with terrible creative missteps, it's just really, really boring. And for a band that built its reputation on straight-ahead, emotional rock sounds, that might be a bigger crime than the flat-out missteps on albums like Penalty Life. The closest this record comes to that is "Nobody Knows What Blooms," which sounds pretty good aside from nose-wrinklingly-ugly horns that pop up at the worst times. At least the song titles are memorably bad, with the contents doing little to redeem ridiculous names like "Limp Tomorrow" and "Doggie Howl."

Fortunately, with this uninspired trio of albums out of the way, The Pillows return to better songwriting with their next record, 2012's Trial.

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user ratings (9)

Comments:Add a Comment 
August 11th 2017


one review per day

not sure why i need to tell you that

Digging: Space Camp - Inevitable Demise

August 11th 2017


Album Rating: 3.0

woah, way to get back into your pillows series, man. have certainly missed your coverage of the band

to be fair, i think this is one of the most consistent avex pillows albums (bested only by trial), and it's got a lotta good songs on it. "limp tomorrow" and "give me up" sorta squander their potential just a little but even they fuckin rockkkkk. other than those, there's plenty of great numbers that genuinely feel like their full potential was brought out: imo "movement", "sad fad love" and "doggie howl" are among the absolute best songs sawao has written this millennium.

Digging: The Collectors (JP) - YOUNG MAN ROCK

August 12th 2017


Album Rating: 2.0

lol shit how did i miss all these Pillows reviews?

August 12th 2017


Album Rating: 2.5

Yeah re-listening to this album I was surprised by how much I found myself liking Sad Fad Love. But a lot of the other songs are pretty bland. It's certainly not a bad album and doesn't have much outright annoying stuff on it, but is mostly unmemorable for me.

August 12th 2017


Album Rating: 3.0

Decent later era album. Trial is better.

Digging: Mike Pace and the Child Actors - Smooth Sailing

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