Lauren Hoffman’s career has been an interesting one to chart as she continues to work her rock magic into various forms. of guitar led rock. After two decades of a solo career she now has created a band to fill out her sound yet the resulting Family Ghost feels closer to her original releases rather than charting something new.
“Don’t Look Back” kicks things off in a raucous way and happily contains a lot of the Hoffman charm that inhabits her previous life. Dark chord structures, a bit of dissonance and a lot of bite. One of the revelations in this album is the integration of violin and piano into the work and here, as well as the more radio friendly “Feel It All” showcase this new approach with the latter being a sleeper hit in waiting.
“Let The Waves Crash on Me” shows that Lauren hasn’t forgotten her bluesy side either as the waltzing guitar riffs slither in and out of your ears on repeat. Single “In the Sun” showcases everything that the album brings beautifully too and lets Lauren’s vocal range shine from soft to harsh and back again. It also shows how she’s evolved as a lyricist too as her muses are more subtle and cloaked.
Without a doubt my favourite section of the album is when the band go down the darker and broodier root. “Family Ghost” is a superb track and the interplay between all the instruments – but especially the guitar and violin – is exceptional and sharp. The way it rip roars down to the explosive chorus is sublime. Interestingly “Broken” from her amazing album Choreography returns for a slightly reworked version with lots of creepy string embellishments and its that haunting quirky edge that is perfected with “The Dragon” that really finds its way home into my heart.
Ultimately this is very much Lauren Hoffman’s show but the extra oomph and sound layers are very welcome and when it all fits together, it really is the top-tier of rock music.
Recommended Track : Family Ghost