Hooverphonic - The Night BeforeSic transit fucking gloria mundi. Kind of a release that makes you wonder if there was really ever anything behind that name or did they just manage to jump the right bandwagon at the right time. No, that’s nonsense. Hooverphonic used to deliver and they do deserve that special place in the hearts of trip-hop fans. It’s just the lack of progression leading to lack of excitement. Or something. Because I don’t want to blame the overwhelming blandness of Hooverphonic‘s latest release on yet another change of the lead singer. Noémie Wolfs is pretty great, if you ask me, with her innocent and intense manner reminding me of French chanson or late 60’s folk-rock. The problem is with whatever surrounds her voice. And that is not much. The trademark Hooverphonic strings and guitars try to do same thing as back in 1996, but fail pretty dramatically even when squeezing out the most symphonic arrangements. With the exception of the title track there isn’t a single tune on the 12-song album that was able to evoke any kind of considerable emotion in me. Which means that, yes, I did not particularly hate any of them either. Heck, I am a 30-something couch potato, so this un-daring pleasant soundtrack to un-eventfulness is designed to be pretty satisfying to fill the need of listening to something while cooking a stew. This is good music for your first date, if you’re not sure what your date’s music preferences are and don’t want to shock her/him with anything extreme but do want to put on something obscure enough to demonstrate your good taste. See, I already found two good purposes for it. I’m sure folks in Hooverphonic‘s native Belgium, who made The Night Before platinum, could come up with a few more. But my job is done here.

And here are two videos for “The Night Before”. I personally like the first one better (is that self-irony?).

Hooverphonic – “The Night Before”

Hooverphonic – “The Night Before”

R.I.Y.L. poppy pop music
personal favs: “The Night Before”

★★☆☆☆ tipkin’s rating

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