Hoobastank: The Complete Discography

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8 apr 2007, 11:17

A HUGE Hoobastank REVIEW.

After becoming obsessed with Crawling in the Dark lately, and knowing only one other song of theirs (The Reason ~ really sappy ballad, IMO), I decided to get their whole discography and see what they're like more generally. So here it is, a review of all of their albums, for what it's worth...

* Every Man For Himself
I find this album very meek, very mediocre... None of the songs really stick with me, with the exception of Without A Fight and Look Where We Are, perhaps. All the other songs are either boring relationship songs (like Inside Of You {eugh, honestly!} or Good Enough) or songs about identity and whatnot, focusing mostly on mass propaganda etc (see First of Me). I think I may have heard If Only on the greek radio, which is good for their publicity I guess, but it resembles The Reason in more than one way, which is not good for their music. Overall, this album has nothing new to offer; it's relatively good to have it playing in the background when you're doing something, all the songs sound the same, pretty much, so they don't disrupt your concentration. Otherwise, not a very successful comeback.

* Hoobastank
Their self-titled album, released in 2001, sounds MUCH better than their latest. It has a 'heavier' sound, which I enjoy, and also the lyrics seem to be better written, like they worked on them better and longer. I listen to music for the combination of nice sound and good lyrics, and I think this band shows exactly this rift between the two elements. This album, with songs like Crawling in the Dark, Pieces, and even To Be With You, which is yet another relationship song (I have an issue with songs like that, they're just too many and unoriginal), demonstrates a good balance between sound and lyrics. Both elements are well-developed, making this album enjoyable. I particularly like Ready for You, which I haven't heard before; Up and Gone is on a lower level than the rest but it's still a presentable song, perhaps echoing Unforgiven? Not in a flashy way, but it does remind me of it a little. Overall, this is an enjoyable album, good to listen to at any time, in the background, in the foreground, to use songs for inspiration in writing, etc.

* Reason
The album starts off beautifully, with another of their heavy songs, Same Direction, which once again touches upon the themes of humanity, where this world is going, the path of one person in this world, etc. They do have a tendency to write songs about this, and I don't blame them, it's a touchy and tricky subject. I like the way they handle it in this album, also in Escape, From The Heart and Unaffected. It is especially clear once they start talking about 'us' and 'them', dreams that are either allowed to be manifested or not, etc. What Happened To Us? is a relationship song, but well-covered lyric-wise; its sound isn't bad at all, either. Same with Lucky, despite the scary Britney-like sound of the title. Then comes the disaster of the album, The Reason, which was a boost for their popularity, albeit in an unwanted way. While they play alternative rock music, if someone says 'Hoobastank', everyone around will go "oh yeah, they say The Reason..." Ugh. Poor guys. All in all, this album is pretty damn good, with the exception of one said sappy relationship ballad. The rest of the album resembles the self-titled album in style and sound, and that's nice.

* Target EP
Target EP has a slightly different sound than the previous two albums, but the difference is not bad. They incorporate a few different musical elements, from grunge to acoustic guitars, all in one song (for example, The Critic). The lyrics are a little more aggressive I think, and that also brings a new mood in their music. What I like the most about this album is the rotation between calm, acoustic music and the regular, heavy guitars found in alternative rock music; well-placed and to the point, they help keep the interest in a song and/or the entire album. In this sense, both 'The Critic' and Never Saw It Coming are great songs. Open Your Eyes, once again following the usual theme pattern of one finding his way and identity in this world, has very interesting vocals, which make the whole song very interesting. The rest of the songs in the album are acoustic versions of 'Crawling in the Dark', 'Running Away', 'Up and Gone', and 'Ready For You'; I like these alternative versions, they sound quite good although considerably slower than the regular songs. I like this album a lot, it shows some true progress there.

* They Sure Don't Make Basketball Shorts Like They Used To
The album title is in itself awesome, haha. Very... Panic! at the Disco. This is the band's first album, released in (ZOMG!) 1998!! Almost a decade ago! That's pretty cool. Now, Earthsick combines at least 3 kinds of music, and that makes it a kickass song by definition. I can hear the Red Hot Chili Peppers influences blended in with the first alternative rock sounds that only begin to make an appearance during those years. Same goes for Karma Patrol (um, do I hear some Radiohead influence right there?? Is there ANYONE who WASN'T influenced by Radiohead? geez...) and also in Stuck Without a Voice. I believe this album reflects the music of the time, it's rather spotted with various sources of inspiration, and the sound of it is kinda groovy. Can I Buy You A Drink sounds a little Red Hot-ish, but it also combines something else into it that I can't exactly pinpoint. All in all, this album is very pleasant to listen to, rather carefree and youthful, with themes that reflect it without making it too teenager-y.

Apparently I don't have Muffins, their first album, released in 1997 (!), but I will try to look for it.

I like these guys a lot. My first contact with their music was back in 2003 (was it?), with their song Right Before Your Eyes, which was in the Daredevil Soundtrack. That soundtrack made me go into alternative rock in the first place, and I owe a lot of my development in musical taste to the songs in it.

So, yay for Hoobastank. ^_^

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