You ever notice how all this “modern melodic pop” has the same sound these days? The overly-chipper layered vocals, the paint-by-numbers chorus and verse…That’s precisely what’s going on here in hue’s eleven track LP, Starting Fires, produced by Mike Tompkins, who apparently garners his fame from Youtube. So he has something in common with Justin Beiber.
In the first song, entitled You will be, it’s all trite lyrics about trying to fly and broken wings…
Hue , (sorry, “hue”) is a Canadian band, Ontario specifically, and there’s a couple of siblings in there, Danny Paton Jr. and his sister Jessica, (he’s the singer/songwriter and his sis is on voice and keys), Darcy Finck on the guitar, Andrew Jones has the bass and Andy Schmidt’s on drums.
2nd track starts out pretty with a nice keys intro; I’m assuming Jessica’s responsible for that; she also throws down some good harmonies throughout the album. Tracks like Follow and Try stand out harmonically.
But blandness and monotony are the monster personalities on this product here. There’s no raging fearlessness or untread ground.
Yet it’s the instrumentals that really are the strongest focal point here; Changes to my Mind, has a bright upbeat rhythmic guitar running solidly throughout and some nice vocal melodies. This track is nice. And The New Beat describes them as “5 of the nicest individuals we’ve ever met.” Well isn’t that nice.
Is there any more room for lukewarm, unthreatening, unchallenging pop music though?
The title track itself is surprisingly disappointing. ( If you like that cute, country yee-haw pop bar stuff, then you’ll eat this shit up, however.) It sounds almost like modern Death Cab, and they’ve kind of lost their touch at this point…
Maybe it’s the generic lyrics… It’s something I can’t really put my finger on here. They may be nice individuals coming from a place of musical integrity, but if you’re looking for something fresh, invigorating and throught-provoking, you will not find it here, unfortunately.
This reviewer would certainly give hue a second chance if they come out with anything else, but Starting Fires is definitely not anything that makes me burn with excitement or new inspirations.