HMLTD - West of Eden
Feb 8, 2020
Okay, I would like to preface this review by saying I do actually like this album, but I'm going to be a bit harsh because this album has some *glaring* issues.

I'll start with the positives: the album all the way up until Why? is great. It's cohesive, all of the songs hit (especially LOADED, which is a total banger) . The production is quirky in a good way; it takes common musical tropes then flips them on their head. The vocals are eccentric and theatrical, complimenting the instrumentals well (speaking of the instrumentals, those are super on point).

Sadly, that only applies to the first 6 songs. Why?, despite only being two minutes long, is an utterly boring, unnecessary slog. It's thankfully followed by 149, with the angelic vocals of Tallulah Eden, but the goodness of that track does not linger for long because it is followed by the two worst tracks on the album: Joanna & Where's Joanna. There is just no other way to put it—these songs completely suck. I understand that lyrically, they're very tragic, depicting the death of a bullied girl and the narrator's guilt surround it, but that in no way excuses every other aspect. The instrumentals in both tracks are god awful (the one on Joanne in particular is somehow both bland and completely unlistenable, pretty remarkable feat if you ask me). The vocals are really the best part of the tracks sonically, and that's excluding the bland melodies.

Thankfully those two car fires are followed up by Death Drive & Nobody Stays in love, which is a return to the great synth-popish/synth-punk type songs from the beginning of the record. MMXX A.D. is a pretty pointless interlude, but it leads up to another great track (that should be the closing track) Blank State.

Finally, the album ends with the disappointingly boring War Is Looming, which I pretty much have nothing to really say about. It is the definition of a 5/10 song. As my long descriptions would imply, this album starts to get pretty all over the place and inconsistent after the first 6 songs. After awhile it starts feeling like a collection of tracks, not like an album.

Overall, I do primarily enjoy this record, and if the kinks were worked out, it would be a strong 8, but it's stuck with it's flaws, and a 70 is really the highest that I'm comfortable with giving.

Favorites: LOADED, 149, Mikey's Song

Worst: Why?, Joanne, Where's Joanne
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