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Album Review

There's nothing Fake about Blow Up Hollywood's second album. This is serious, serious music charged with very real emotion. Like gray clouds hanging low on a fall Sunday afternoon, occasionally pierced by hopeful moments of sunshine that never seem to last, this music is downright overshadowing and all-consuming yet, in a subtle, gentle manner, somehow comforting. The songs swell with grayness and disperse momentarily to reveal hopeful moments, all the while accentuated by visceral passages of lyrical pleading. And yes, all of this is achieved with good old-fashioned (but not too loud) guitars, bass, drums, and vocals, along with some keyboards and cello for added ambient effect. Decade-old alternative rock bands like Sunny Day Real Estate and Live won legions of listeners with this sort of brooding music, but the music of Blow Up Hollywood is a much more serious affair. These guys aren't aiming for modern rock radio or indie credentials; they're making music that resonates deep in your soul, the sort of music that's so intimate, you feel like the band is playing its songs for you and you alone. In fact, you could think of Blow Up Hollywood as mid-'90s Sunny Day Real Estate ten years later — still conflicted and passionate yet further jaded and further drawn within, putting away the distortion pedals in favor of long passages of quiet numbness. All of this might be too much for most listeners. After all, there's nothing catchy to grasp onto here, and the music never crosses over into experimental territory. This is music for grownups who still find solace in emotional rock music yet who just can't get off nowadays on the commercially calculated likes of U2, Sarah McLachlan, and other such adult alternative rock. Blow Up Hollywood isn't radio fodder. This is heartfelt music that is made out of a love for music-making, not a quest for fame. So if you're looking for some real music charged with real emotion and played with real passion, look for Fake. It's about as ethereal as adult alternative rock music gets before it crosses the line from poetry into parody.

Top Albums and Songs by Blow Up Hollywood

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