Hot Hot Heat
WEA/Warner Bros. Records
2.5 stars out of 5
By Justin Gumbel
The newest installment by Hot Hot Heat, Happiness Ltd., is the biggest disappoint of the year. Hot Hot Heat is a great band that has produced some excellent albums over the past few years, but the fifth and newest full-length album is a real letdown. The music is not horrible. This is just not Hot Hot Heat’s best work by any means. The album lacks excitement and emotion. It sounds like the band was forced into the studio and told to have a finished product as soon as possible. They sounds like they are bored of the music they play. The songs are like a formulaic: just plug and play. By the fifth or sixth song, you will be thinking you have already heard that song, when in fact it just sounds like the last one.
The first track on the album, “Happiness Ltd.,” is slow starting, but when it gets going it is a good track. The next song, “Let Me In,” is the best track on the album. After this track, if you have time, jump to track eight which is “Give Up?” and you have heard it all. The rest of the songs are an imitation of these three songs. Had this album been a three song EP, this review would be infinitely more positive. However, there are eight extra filler tracks on this album.
On the plus side, this album does display good musicianship. The drums are strong throughout, and there are riffs here and there that give a glimmer of hope for this record. The melodies are catchy, as expected. For all of you Hot Hot Heat fans, I advise you to stick to the old albums, and give the three good tracks on this album a listen. If you are just getting into Hot Hot Heat, this album is not bad, but after listening to this album, you will be amazed by their older stuff.