Huski’s latest album is by lore, the album they originally started making last time round and they ended up getting the magnificent “Strangelove”. “H” however strips out all the guitar in this bouncy pop rock duo and places the emphasis firmly on dance pop.
Opener “Sleeps Over” starts strongly with lots of keyboard gadgetry and Melanie’s smooth vocals hushing over the very “phat” bass lines and the very 90’s piano that pulsate and vibrate throughout. “Senseless” returns in a massive seven minute low-fi club mix too with dirty bass lines, vocal looping and lots of elongating of the original track. I wouldn’t say its better than the original though – it lacks a certain step up that the original has although it certainly has its moments. “Something Real” is a new track and it has a playful main melody of electronic marimbas that really give the track a unique touch in its understated euphoria. A standout.
“First Light” turns the rock anthem into a late night plinkathon with an interesting off beat percussion loop and the guitars replaced by smooth keyboard synths. Even Melanie’s voice is synthed. The chorus is completely reworked and is vastly understated and lacks the originals punch. “Pandora Smiles” is another new track that certainly utilises the keyboard well as the track is ethereal and hushed and so each gentle tinkle sparkles more.
“Make Up” is a wonderfully silly song and this gets the epic trance treatment with lots of vocal cuts and big bass lines. Here the remix treatment works perfectly as a viable alternative to the original. “Dont Look Away” slows things back down again with a swirling number that again shows a lot of technical wizardry but doesn’t push a song out that immediately sticks in your head. Repeated listens help it get there but it just didn’t stick with me. “Strange Love” now becomes a club mix using the original synths as a good template. This version is more meaty and beatastic but again – I feel like a broken record. Huski have already made a great rock/synth track from it before and now it feels like a pre going out clubbing track.
“Close to the Edge” reminds me of Niki and the Dove. It’s certainly a real hark back to the glamour of brightness of 1990 with its big hair pop synths buzzing out and it certainly gives this version a completely different feel to the original. Closer “Red Bird” is previously unreleased and is a wonderful piano led ballad. With this one track suddenly its like the previous Huski burst back into the room and remembered that actually they are a kick-ass dancing riff rock emotional explosion of talent.
Somewhere during what appears to be a merge of a remix album and a vent for some new tracks in a disco light, that talent is washed about with too much cheap bass, vocal ooh/aahs on repeat and a lack of punch that is stamped over the duo’s previous works. I guess remix projects will always divide people. I’ll take guitar rock Huski any day,