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Firecracker People

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Customer Reviews

Excellent Sophomore Album!

The first self-titled album introduced a new talent to the indie scene. "Firecracker People" gives us what we would expect from a Hotel Lights album, but adds the feel of Jesse's older band, Ben Folds Five. Tracks like "Amelia Bright" and "Firecracker People" both seem to nod towards the later works of the band. The music never veers from the original sound that would bring us to buy another album. Hotel Lights have triumphed in creating yet another excellent album.

The quiet moments

Wow! Wondering if there would ever be a follow up and finally there is! Enjoying the album particularly Firecracker people and Blue Always finds Me.

Breaking from the image of your former bandmates is hard to do.

Ben Folds Five was easily one of the best “outsider” bands of the 1990’s. Ben Folds himself has gone on to a very successful solo career and the former drummer, Darren Jesse, is doing his best to make a niche for himself with his band Hotel Lights. Firecracker People is the second album for Hotel Lights after their self titled debut in 2006. Jesse shows his knack for songwriting from the very first track, “Blue Always Finds Me.” Each song showcases a pure talent for lyrics and song. “Amelia Bright,” a live favorite from the old days, has been reworked to fit in with pure pop flavor and even features backing vocals from Tim Buckley who also lends his voice on the title track as well. Buckley’s vocals are truly backup and a bit lost in Jesse’s baritone which may be the reason Hotel Lights did little to recognize a star in their liner notes. Alan Weatherford, of Sparklehorse and Camper Van Beethoven fame, also added star power to the lineup by playing guitar and producing the album. Combining excellent song writing with the musical experience of not only the band members but also two of the indie genre’s best has helped Firecracker People become an excellent record. Hotel Lights will probably never be as big as Ben Folds Five, and that fact is too bad. This album is good listening from the very first note and at forty-seven minutes was not enough. Joseph Bridges (Staff Writer for


Formed: 2000 in Chapel Hill, NC

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Essentially the solo vehicle for Ben Folds Five drummer Darren Jessee, the mellow indie pop group Hotel Lights formed in Chapel Hill, North Carolina in 2000 after Ben Folds Five temporarily disbanded. Switching from drums to guitar, piano, and vocals, Jessee hooked up with guitarist/producer Alan Weatherhead, guitarist/keyboardist Chris Badger, bassist Roger Gupton, and drummer Mark Price for the band's eponymous debut album released on Bar/None Records in 2006. By 2007, Gupton and Price had been...
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