The Age of Rockets

Hannah

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    5
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AllMusic Review by

For Hannah, the Age of Rockets create an aural bath of stately sound. Harmonics are the key to much of this set, with the vocals ofttimes utilized as an integral instrument, much like the keyboards or drum programming. At its core, though, this is a pop album, but of a very unusual sort, for the Rockets' love of glitchy, quirky rhythms and genre-bending sounds takes it far afield of the typical pop set. It's all very clever, at times too clever for its own good, and the songs occasionally suffer accordingly. Rather than the arrangements serving the piece, one is left with the feeling that the songs are merely there to hang their smart sounds on. Ooh, wouldn't a drum solo be cool? Where can we stick one? How about at the end of "H. Soft Escape." Yeah, that'll do. Actually it's pointless there, but never mind, it had to go somewhere, and it does sound cool. For that's the flipside of the Rockets, they do make very cool sounds, like the pizzicato vocals on "Actors/Ghosts," the Depeche-y keyboards that sneak into "Avada Kedavra," or the pomp rock keyboards that strut across "The End of Faith." You can't help but admire their verve. You can't help it, because they can't stop pointing it out, like the overexcited kid waving his hand in the air shouting "look at me, look at me." A bit more subtlety would make all the difference between an interesting exercise in music and a great album. Right now, the Rockets are still showing off their tricks, hopefully at some point soon they'll begin incorporating them into the music. All the other elements are in place -- cinematic production, an intriguing blend of genres, pop vocals, varied atmospheres, and strong melodies. So A+ for technique, C for performance.

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