Most helpful positive review
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
This isn't your Grandma's Van Hunt!
on September 28, 2011
If your looking for the Van Hunt from 2004 with songs like "Down Here in Hell (with you)" or songs from his On the Jungle Floor albums like "Being a girl" (which are both excellent songs...) Well your in wrong spot! That isn't that Van Hunt! What has emerged is a psychedelic punk-rock Van Hunt who still keeps in touch with the soul man inside him. This is Van Hunt's 4th studio release following 2008's Popular which was never officially released but has become a bit of a underground/bootleg sensation. As Hunt has done with his previous albums he continues to grow as an artists.. Going further away from his influences and deeper into his own self. Since Van Hunt's first release of his self titled 2004 album, Hunt has established himself as one of the most talented artists in music today. The singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has laced his albums with infectious melodies, intelligent lyrics, and rich musicianship, and nothing is different with "What Were You Hoping For?" Van Hunt goes deeper into the deep end then ever before and I couldn't be anymore happier about it!
Track by Track review:
North Hollywood begins with a thumbing drum and nasty guitar lick, it reminds me of the nastiness of Hunt's guitar playing that we saw on Popular's "The Lowest 1 of my Desires" This a song that will get your head popping immediately. The songs also sets the tone of album which has a semi conceptual feel to it. with the lyric "There are no more secrets/after you've been evicted/your story sits on abandon couches."
Watching You Go Crazy Is Driving Me Insane:
This is the song when you realize that isn't your Grandma's Van Hunt! Van Hunt goes straight up punk with this song! The song starts with thrashing guitars and heavy drums but drops to just bass and drums during the verses which draws you right into the song! This is one the albums stands out! You see more of the concept lyrically in this song with the lyrics "We have no dollar bill/To pay our water bill/but were still sexy"
This is the early stand out for me as the best track! It's hard syth bass and drums machine over bluesy guitar is nothing short of SICK! The song has a catchy melody that hooks you in. There isn't a whole lot to say about this song but just that it's simple is awesome! Stand out lyric "People with nothing on their minds/ Need only press a button to share online/ Religion, Atheism, Mass production and consumption of opinions" ---- "Sexuality, Racial Identity, We wear them like designer jeans"
This is Van Hunt's ode to a women's behind! We see Van being more playful in this song with lyrics like "As you stare at your new jewelery/ I stand behind you and say "hi, booty!" But all this is done over a nice drum beats and trippy guitar. After the midway point of the song is takes a change as women comes into the right speaker reciting a bit of what I guess you would call a poem. saying "Her body whether in cloths or naked/ Looks like sculpture ready for war". The song ends with some trippy keyboards from keyboardist Peter Dryer.
In Falls (Violet) we see Van Hunt go maybe were he's never been before... Country Western! The song is simple with a country western like guitar backed by a drum machine. Van also is liberal with the use of reverb on his vocal with this track. All of which give the song and nice and unique feel.
This ballad lets you know that Van is still able to make those neo-soul ballads that made him famous! This is a very pretty song about love. Hunt is at his usual when beautiful describing the ups and downs of love and relationships. This song features a beautiful piano breakdown w/ gorgeous strings! A very pretty song!
Eyes Like Pearls:
The lead single off the album (which I'm not sure was the best choice) is up beat rocker and features a sick guitar and an almost pop like KO of a melody in it's rocking chorus. Once again Hunt is speaking of love on this song in which he seems to be talking about two people getting married. "Two miles from the church/She shook like California dirt/As I slid my hand upon her thighs/Her eyes like pearls/She's crying precious tears"
A Time Machine Is My New Girlfriend:
This song is the on that thew me the most out of my comfort zone. With his is African drums and rock guitars it's very unique! I still need more time really to be able really get this song, but I like it more and more as I adjust to it's original sound. When is it's all said and done this maybe my favirote song on the album!
What Were You Hoping For?:
The albums title track starts off with a collection "talk radio" like clips about religion, science and everything in between. With this track Hunt asks what were people hoping for when they do the thing they have done? with lyrics like "Even tycoons are licking their wounds" This song asks how the recession got there!
Hunt said this was first song recorded on for the album. Lyrically it talks about a broken hearted man who finds himself dressing in his ex-girlfriends clothes to somehow remind himself of her. The song is both funny and sad. but an excellent song! One of my favorites on the album!
It's A Mysterious Hustle:
This is eery song with a heavy a drum machine and keyboards, that song serves a message to Hunt's son to let him know what life path will be like ahead of him. He chants at the end of the song "Stay close to me!" This is another of my favirote songs on the album.
In conclusion with What Were You Hoping For? Van Hunt has established himself as one the most exciting and interesting musicians in the game right now. Not afraid to take a chance, but also knowing you must hit it out of the park when you do, and he always does! I'm not sure if this is Van Hunt's best album to date. It maybe too early to say that. "Popular" is one of my all time favirote albums, but this is better in my opinion then both the self titled album and On The Jungle Floor" and that's saying something cause both of those are EXCELLENT albums!
Bottom line: Buy the album you'll be very happy you did!