Hello to the New, Goodbye to the Old Hellogoodbye
Published: Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 23:10
It had been a long time since my ears heard the music of the band Hellogoodbye until this Tuesday. I hadn't really thought much about them either until I read that this was the week of the unveiling of their third full-length album, “Everything is Debatable.” It was a pleasant surprise to see Hellogoodbye was still making music because as far as I knew, they had stopped making music years ago.
I feel like my middle school days were when I really developed my passion for music and started to expand my musical horizons. Through my searching, I came across Hellogoodbye's first EP entitled simply, “Hellogoodbye” and I was very impressed. It was a unique alternative indie-pop sound that really stood out from the crowd. I was excited to have found this new band, and I was curious to see what the future would hold for them.
Then with one song Hellogoodbye rocked the world. Their first full-length album, “Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs!,” contained the single, “Here (In Your Arms).” It was a huge hit. It got significant radio airplay and reached the top 20 on many national song charts. I was a big fan of the whole album, but I was disappointed that “Here (In Your Arms)” was the only song to ever really receive any attention.
In 2010, Hellogoodbye dropped a second album I in all honesty had no idea about until this week, so I am unsure how it compares to the rest of the Hellogoodbye line-up. So really, at this point in their career, I think it is very safe to say they can be classified as a “one-hit wonder.”
Now, onto the album. Really, I struggle finding something significant to say concerning this album. I guess first thing’s first — it is great music. It is definitely an album that is fun to listen to, and I was impressed with it overall, but when it comes down to it, I feel like it lacked what I really loved about that first EP — it wasn't very unique.
Again, it is all great music, but I felt like for the most part they all would have meshed right in with any Matt and Kim or Vampire Weekend album. The single that prefaced the release of this album is entitled “(Everything Is) Debatable.” It is a super catchy dance tune, but all I can think of when I listen to it is the current hit single “Safe and Sound” by Capital Cities.
Not only do these songs sound just like songs already made by other artists, but they sound a lot like each other also. Listening to this album is fun, but if you aren't paying attention, it may begin to feel like you have been listening to the same song for almost an hour.
Also, for fans like me who fell in love with the first EP almost 10 years ago, it doesn't take long to notice that this is not the same Hellogoodbye. They have seen many band member changes over the years, and the sound has unfortunately changed a lot as well. Again, I emphasize that the music on this album really is good, but it is not the real Hellogoodbye in my mind. This album seems like an attempt to slide into the mainstream, and because of this attempt, they gave up some of that unique unorthodox sound that caught my attention nearly 10 years ago. I think back to when I found that first EP, and the honest truth is if I would have found this album, I probably would have never given Hellogoodbye any attention at all.
So all in all, this is a good album and if you are looking for a nice mix for a dance party, “Everything is Debatable” would be a great fit. But if you are just looking for a unique sound that stands out from everything else around it, I would recommend looking back in time a bit to the original EP, “Hellogoodbye.” My overall grade for “Everything is Debatable” is a solid B-. It is great, but I was hoping for a lot more from these guys.