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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: 1995 in Brussels, Belgium

Genre: Pop

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

The Belgian ambient pop band Hooverphonic featured vocalist Liesje Sadonius, guitarist/programmer Alex Callier, keyboardist Frank Duchêne, and guitarist Raymond Geerts. Known simply as Hoover across Europe, the group made their initial splash contributing the song "2Wicky" to the soundtrack of the 1996 Bernardo Bertolucci film Stealing Beauty, followed a year later by the full-length New Stereophonic Sound Spectacular. Sadonius left Hooverphonic a short time later, and was replaced by vocalist Geike...
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A New Stereophonic Sound Spectacular, Hooverphonic
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