After a huge release in 2017, fans of Hobo Johnson were dying for some new materials from the artist, so let’s dig in and see if it was worth the wait. From the jump, it is notable that this album is truly one of a kind because it constantly drives with the characteristic approach to music that is the vision of Hobo Johnson. The record moves forward with the base line of a spoken-word artist, who throws in some melodies that are sang, some that are rapped, and some that walk the fine line in between the three different melodic approaches. As all of that occurs, Johnson includes a variety of music genres through his different instrumental approaches that occur behind each of his stories. These instrumental moments thrive on the act of instrumental fluctuation to create variety in texture. This allows the artist to span a wide spectrum of instrumental techniques, for he is stretching the genres so thin that literally nothing is unexpected. This record goes from a string melody to this multitude of electronics and horns to include this over the top instrumental breakdown. Honestly, this record is just as brilliant musically speaking as it is lyrically speaking. Overall, I would give this album a 4.5 out of 5 stars because it is something that is so unique to this artist, and it is groovy to put it bluntly. This record will put you in a good music, no question, and that’s the kind of music we need now-a-days.
“Mover Awayer”, “Happiness”, and “Sorry, My Dear”
All of the music on this record is unique in its own way; however, there are a few tunes that strike the audience on their first listen, and these are those works. These tracks stick out because they are the ones that drive the unique approach to modern music that Hobo Johnson utilizes to the max. As they drive with this intent, they are able to create all of these ornate music experiences for the listeners while still being so chill and relaxing to listen to. I would dive into the whole album, but if you’re apprehensive- start here.
When first glancing at the album artwork, I just have to say: it is absolutely sick. The cover depicts an image of a man (probably the artist) with his face being replaced with a bunch of tiny blue flowers. The main color scheme of this image drives on blue and white scheme with dashes of other colors here and there. When comparing the artwork to the music that falls on the inside, it can be said that the two do connect. The color blue is known to symbolize strength, wisdom, truth, and other things of that nature, and throughout this album the artist is being nothing but frank and blunt with his ranging variety of topics, which connects to that aspect of the cover well. Additional to that, the music is a bit all over the place, when talking about different lyrical topics and genre influences, and that works well with the image that is presented on the front, for the fact his face is washed out with flowers can symbolize someone who is off, daydreaming in time, which would entail a variety of topics on the brain- nothing is off limits. Overall, I would say the cover art is strong on its own and pairing it with the music on the inside only makes the record stronger.
*”The Fall of Hobo Johnson” was released on September 13th, 2019 through Reprise Records.