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A New Stereophonic Sound Spectacular

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Album Review

The Belgian trio Hooverphonic haphazardly tinkers around with ambient pop on its debut album, A New Stereophonic Sound Spectacular. Overall, it's a decent derivation of post-grunge and a healthy sampling of rising trip-hop and ambient electronica during the mid-'90s, so perhaps it's all right for the album itself to experience floppy production. Lead singer Liesje Sadonius is sultry while defining Hooverphonic's signature shoegazer-like vocalics, with almost impressive electronic support from guitarists Alex Callier and Raymond Geerts and keyboardist Frank Duchêne. Debut single "2 Wicky" struts with a mysterious bass drop, and it's Sadonius' sexy vocal charm that fully ties it all together. Other tracks such as "Inhaler" and "Revolver" are moody but danceable, whereas "Nr. 9" blasts with hazy My Bloody Valentine -like distortion. The orchestration is tangled, but the artistic purpose of such musical beauty defines Hooverphonic's initial concept. A New Stereophonic Sound Spectacular depicts a glossy confidence, but not sheer enough for a fully enigmatic sound. But that's perfectly fine — Hooverphonic characterizes its own grace with experimental soundscapes of melodic disarray, but just barely.

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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A New Stereophonic Sound Spectacular, Hooverphonic
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