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The Magnificent Tree

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Album Review

Belgium's dream pop trio Hooverphonic has seemed to creatively move beyond their icy smooth seascape found on 1998's Blue Wonder Power Milk and shift into a darkwave mood on their third full-length, The Magnificent Tree. Classic embryonic vocalic beauty from Geike Arnaert still carries the translucence of the band's signature ethereality, and she shines as hard as she did on the band's previous releases. However, musical composition on songs such as "Pink Fluffy Dinosaurs" and "Frosted Flake Wood" are more intricate and sonically defined. Chief songwriter and programmer Alex Callier and guitarist Raymond Geerts aim for abstract theatrics; multi-instrumentation is brooding and creeping, but Hooverphonic's distinct maturation cannot overshadow the gorgeous, flowing soundscapes they previously laid down. It's not disheartening by any means, for Hooverphonic does compose an attractive depiction of revamped new wave elements and twisted synth-pop in the face of new millennium teendom. They are far from manufactured label-conscious musical fascism, yet still are represented by a major label. But staying true to the Julee Cruise-like ambience, songs such as "Out of Sight" and "Mad About You" are thoroughly dramatic and make for an illustrious listen. The Magnificent Tree has not completely ignored the musical mystery, and the listener shouldn't forget such mastery while Hooverphonic's cultivation had to be perfectly split.

Biography

Formed: October, 1995 in Brussels, Belgium

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Hooverphonic are a Belgian ambient pop group who initially became known for their moody, playful take on trip-hop during the mid-'90s. Since then, the band's sound has evolved greatly, incorporating psychedelic, pop, and orchestral elements. The group's songs have appeared in numerous advertisements as well as film and television soundtracks, and they have a considerable fan base throughout the world. However, they are superstars in their native Belgium; starting with 1998's Blue Wonder Power Milk,...
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The Magnificent Tree, Hooverphonic
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