November 07, 2002

Howard Hello "Howard Hello"

Dear Howard Hello,

Hello Howard Hello hello!! I'd like to ask you a few questions about your new album, Howard Hello. It's been in my record player for most of the weekend, and while I'd like to say firsthand that I enjoyed the experience, I can't help but ask you a few questions about it, if you wouldn't mind taking a few moments of your time.

First of all, you're funny. That skipping guitar line right at the beginning of "Television" really had me fooled. I was dead-set that the beautiful little melody had suddenly been derailed by a lousy CD player, or that somehow your disk had been damaged. I laugh about it now, because I think that's what you were going for. On that song, were you just sitting around at a rehearsal and you didn't know the tape was rolling? Not to be rude or anything, but I really liked that opening melody, but by the track's end, with the hollow sound and the people talking in the background and the vocal warm-ups by Wendy Allen make it seem like it's some sort of outtake.That's pretty big of you, too, to put a session outtake as the first track of your album.

Tell me, Howard Hello, are you a fan of His Name is Alive? I'm thinking that you are, because I'm hearing a few things that are rather Warren Defeverish, such as the ethereal vocal lines placed over new-age keyboards, as well as a few moments here and there where the acoustic guitar lines "mess up," such as on track four. Not saying that it's a bad thing--it's good to hear that Warren's an influence on somebody.

I really like your CD, Howard Hello. It's pretty, with flowing acoustic guitars and such. Are you trying to innovate the acoustic guitar genre, or are you simply a group that likes the sound of pretty things that are slightly messed up? Or do you like to play jokes on people, so as to think that this pretty little record of yours is defective, or that their own CD player isn't working right? I like a prank or two myself. It's good to have a little chuckle at someone's expense every now and then, don't you think?

I like it, though, that you're not all jokes, especially with those long, new age numbers at the end of the record--what are they called? I can't remember, because there's no song listing on the CD, and I'd hate to take the record off. Ah, here's the listing. How ironic that this keyboard number is called "Dream," and that you end with a song entitled "Hello"! It sounds like you've listened to a bit of Harold Budd, as well as other greats. Do you have aspirations to be on Hearts of Space? Can't say that I blame you, because you've got the kind of sound that would go over like gangbusters there, and that's not just reviewer talk, either.

Anyways, I'd better get back to working on these reviews. I've enjoyed your CD; it's kind of lulled me in to a dreamlike state. Thanks for these few minutes of dreamlike music--I'll be sure to pop it on the next time I'm feeling restless, and I'm looking forward to hearing more from you guys!

Joseph K.

P.S. You still like Tarentel? They're pretty.

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