Blue October - I Hope You're Happy
Review by Dom Vigil
Those who haven’t kept up with Blue October in recent years might not recognize them at first on their latest release, I Hope You’re Happy, but truth is, they’re more themselves now than they’ve ever been. Comprised of twelve stunning, cinematic, vulnerable and uplifting tracks, I Hope You’re Happy finds the band utilizing creative songwriting and orchestral elements to explore their lowest lows but most importantly, their highest highs.
I Hope You’re Happy feels larger than life, and that much is apparent from just the very first song. The string arrangements peppered throughout the album, help to make it feel more like a film soundtrack than an album. Even the simplest, most delicate violin (like in “Your Love Is Like A Car Crash”) makes all the difference and really helps to tell a story - and one that has a very positive ending.
The sonic journey on I Hope You’re Happy is an incredible one, beginning with the explosive opener, “Daylight,” which transitions into the intimate and emotional second track, “Your Love Is Like A Car Crash.” Although it’s a risky move placing such a quiet song right at the beginning of the record, Justin Furstenfeld’s vocal performance hooks you with ease, showcasing his entire range, from deep, dark and gritty to softer high notes. This is continued perfectly on the vulnerable third song, “I Want To Come Back Home,” which finds Furstenfeld addressing his mistakes and flaws and asking for forgiveness.
The lyrical content on this release is where fans of Blue October’s older material will feel right at home, too. Over the years, the band hasn’t lost their sense of vulnerability. In fact, it seems they’ve become more open and honest with themselves on this release, admitting wrongdoings and shortcomings while striving to be happier, better people. Songs like the self-love anthem “I’ll Do Me, You Do You” and “I Hope You’re Happy” make for an incredibly hopeful and uplifting release. Both songs are about letting things go and wishing the best for others, no matter how they may have wronged you or your relationship with them. I Hope You’re Happy isn’t without darker, more frustrated tracks, either. “Colors Collide,” for instance, is easily the most aggressive song on the record, touching on racism and inequality. Meanwhile, songs like “How To Dance In Time” and “Let Forever Mean Forever” are both stunning love songs.
As a whole, I Hope You’re Happy simply feels like healing. Even the darkest songs on the album feel a bit therapeutic and come out the other end brighter and better. The poetic yet realistic and incredibly personal lyricism on I Hope You're Happy, coupled with the cinematic songwriting and string arrangements makes for an epic, life changing release that addresses shortcomings and what-if’s but also celebrates our strengths and most importantly, love.
LISTEN TO "I'll Do Me, You Do You" and "I Want To Come Back Home"
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