Lauren Hoffman returns after her fantastic “Choreography” with her fourth studio album “Interplanetary Traveler” and this time it’s an album that comes from a mothers love.
Title track “Interplanetary Traveler” is the case in hand. Lauren weaves a beautiful acoustic country tinged ballad with lyrics of wonderment and adoration for her child. Avoiding sappy is something a lot of artists struggle to do but Hoffman’s opener is as honest as the day and I defy anyone not to love the music video that accompanies the track perfectly and the marching drum beat pushes the song forward.
“Surrender” continues to show off Lauren’s more acoustic rock side that we’ve not seen in full flow before. The track is light but catchy and has some mean riffs in it. I could see this easily being played in all kinds of coffee houses. Again the percussion stands out and the minimal approach to the guitars too for making it a really clear track to dig into, and the last thirty seconds are great.
“Pictures From America” is the first more introverted sounding track with its slinking guitar melodies and Lauren’s voice really shining with vulnerability and showing real maturity with soft restraint throughout which impacts more on the wandering soul feel of the track.
“Prove the Moon” has some wonderful lyrics and continues to impress with Lauren’s ability to write positivity with meaning and it all ties in nicely with the overal theme of flying off into new uncharted territory all round. The pace changes and guitar work throughout are really relaxing too.
“Let it Go” is the first song to really have an electric feel to it on the album and has a real mood change between moody echoed verses and more upbeat choruses which makes it stand out from the rest of the album so far as the brooding track.
“The River Takes Me” has a lovely flow to it and a rolling wave feel to it and is a personal favourite for me on the album as it is both intricate but with a passion and glide to it that would be great to cuddle up to or be a nice movie moment, and the vocal dualing in the final sections is beautiful.
“Celebrate” is another beautiful chugger with little twists that keep you on your toes which come from the stringed instruments that are scattered around the speakers. It’s realy quite cleverly done and really gives what could be just a great if standard track a really fresh edge and turns it into a fantastic track.
“Firefly” harks back to earlier albums from Lauren to me with her beautiful ballads she writes with downbeat chords and Lauren’s laid back but slightly meloncholy voice nestled deep in the midst of the music. “In This Life” in contrast is a foot tapper instead even if the lyrics aren’t all that foot tappingly happily, so it’s got a deceptive edge to it and it’s the most political I can remember Hoffman ever being.
The closing track “Sweet Lazy Day” rounds off the album with another acoustic piece of relaxed downbeat brilliance.
“Interplanetary Traveler” is another excellent album from the Hoff! This time around there’s a lot more love and joy in the album, but that doesn’t stop it from being a powerhouse of how to strip catchy songs down to their bare bones and really enjoy the moment. Highly recommended and first top album class of 2010.