Blow Up Hollywood: Self-Titled
This CD is probably the most nondescript Ive ever encountered. The liner notes are nothing more than black and white photos with a track-listing and contact information. No lyrics, no thank you lists, nothing more. Well, thats not entirely true. There is a somewhat melancholy quote; by whom, I dont know. It describes how we as humans are merely visitors and our lives are brief with death leading into life again. Needless to say, I was a bit wary about what the CD was going to sound like.
The lead singer, whose name I was unable to locate even on their website, has a voice that reminds me of Michael Stipe from REM, with a touch of Eddie Vedder. A talented vocalist, his sound is mournful on all the vocal tracks. Track 2, Floating, is one of the album's better tracks with spine-tingling vocals that broke out of an instrumental fog like a lighthouse. Floating was one of the shorter tracks, but this release has some long ones, with the longest track clocking in at over eight minutes, seeming a bit drawn out to me.
Musically the arrangements are unique and quite beautiful. There are a multitude of instruments used strings, piano and varied percussion. Whether or not they are real instruments or digitally created, Im not sure. The musical arrangements tend to overshadow and overpower the vocals that seem to fade into the background quite often.
Overall, I enjoyed the album, but wasnt overly thrilled with the complete lack of information about the band. I suppose I like to know who I am listening to and familiarize myself with the band before listening so that I can feel a connection to the music. Mellow and mournful is the tone of the CD, and while I do believe there is some genuine talent in Blow Up Hollywood, it was a challenge to find it through the overly long instrumental breaks in the songs.
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