Album – Honeysuckle Weeks – The Submarines

Posted by admin on April 16th, 2008

  • Band / Artist : The SubmarinesmySpace
  • Genre : Folk / Electronica
  • Sample Track Download : N/A
  • Buy CD : Amazon
  • Buy Digital Download : iTunes
  • Rating : 9 out of 10

I reviewed the previous album by The Submarines, back in June 2006 and while I really enjoyed it, it did take me a while to really get into it. When I first heard them, I have to admit. I thought of them as a pale imitation of the Weepies, who also share the same record label, but the more I listened, the more I began to appreciate them for themselves.

Again this new album from the collaboration of Blake Hazard and John Dragonetti features 10 tracks. Where the previous album had that darker tinge, here it’s a much more relaxed and happy affair. The album starts perfectly with “Sub Symphonika”, with it’s very light and upbeat music, fused some very phased and delicate vocals. This track also sounds very familiar. It’s almost like I’ve heard it on a TV commercial. “Thorny Thicket” continues the great mood of the album, and further highlights the great fusion of sounds and vocals. Musically this is a very well produced album, which has a lot going on, but never feels like it’s lost it’s way. I did feel at time though, that the vocals were somewhat overshadowed.

“You Me and the Bourgeoisie” has a very interesting sound, which is at first very reminiscent of The Tutles, “So Happy Together”. Talking of reminiscent, “1940” also has a similar vibe to some of Massive Attack’s work. And that’s one of the things I really love about this album, it’s ability to morph and change and yet still feel tightly woven together. I won’t even mention the Lightening Seeds when talking about “The Wake Up Song” as I’m sure you can see where I’m going with this one, but don’t let that detract you from what is a great collection of songs.

“Swimming Pool” is the track that snuck up on me, while I was listening to the album on the bus. I got off the bus about half way through the song and was just about to reach work, when “Bam” it hit me. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I played this track over and over again and just couldn’t help but smile like an idiot. “Maybe” is another track that just really gelled with me. Unfortunately the same can’t be said for “Xavia” and the oddly named “Fern Beard”, which while both started promisingly enough, just seem to slowly unravel. Sometimes it’s hard to quantify what you like or dislike about songs. These are two examples of that.

And so we come to the final track, “Brightest Hour” which could at first be mistaken for a Christmas track, as it has a very Wintery feel to it, with what almost sound like sleigh bells in the background. It’s a wonderfully soothing track though, and a great way to end an album, that descended on me from out of the blue.

Conclusion : I found this follow up to Declare a New State, much more accessible and brighter. While I really liked the former, I absolutely love this one, save for a couple of tracks that just weren’t to my taste. I’m hoping that this brighter sound is here to stay, as it really makes for a more pleasurable listening experience.

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