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CODE(0x7c8a7444) | Format: MP3

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  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #188,944 Paid in Albums (See Top 100 Paid in Albums)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By T. A. Daniel on August 10, 2013
Is "retro" a genre? Probably not. It's just not descriptive enough. Retro compared to what? Today's music will eventually be "retro," right? All right, good - we're in agreement - calling a band "retro" is mostly ineffective. Now, with that said, The Happy Hollows is a retro band. In 2009, the band released Spells, an album that conjured the nostalgic early 90's of Elastica, Lush, and That Dog. The music was full of distorted, fuzzy guitars and pop hooks led by vocalist Sarah Negahdari. Four years later, their follow-up, Amethyst, finds the band traveling back in time again, only this time they've landed in the mid 80's.

Amethyst is a summer record. In a sound reminiscent of Beach House, The Happy Hollows are working with outdated synthesizers, reverb-soaked guitar, and dreamy vocals. The songs are propelled by melody though, so the music never feels too spacey or meandering. Negahdari's guitarwork (one of the best things about Spells) is dialed back on this album in favor for more keys/synths. Amethyst's strongest tracks are generally the ones that feature her instrumentation (along with fellow guitarist Matt Fry) the most prominently. The wonderful "Stop the World" runs surf-rock through a hip Instagram filter, and the guitar is the beating heart of it all.

The title track is one of the best songs on the album, and it sticks out among the rest by its tone. While most of the tracks here are bouncy and fun, the mood that "Amethyst" evokes is a bit more aggressive. It works well for them - the album could have benefited from a bit more shiftiness and paranoia. Amethyst has a tendency to wander into midtempo territory, where most of the album's least interesting tracks lurk.
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