Review: Hellogoodbye – Everything Is Debatable

hellogoodbye

Hellogoodbye have returned with their third album, Everything is Debatable. The record is a continuation of their last CD, Would It Kill You? with the bouncing pop of acoustic guitars, but with a revival of the synth that was a signature sound for the band through their first few releases.

Though the synth makes a noticeable return, it’s toned down to mesh with the acoustic guitar rather than overpower the songs like it did on Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs!. What results is a sophisticated sound resonating throughout each track with the soft pop that the band has been writing for the last few years and the techno beats of a Sonic the Hedgehog game.

Everything is Debatable is the slowest and jazziest album Hellogoodbye have put out. The frantic pop of past songs like “Finding Something to Do” is toned down to create a much more stabilized atmosphere. Each song is more of a jam created to make people dance more than anything. There’s also a wonderful piece spanning three tracks where each song bleeds into the next starting at midway through the album.

Forrest Kline’s lyrics hold true to the album’s title, as he frequently contradicts his opinion throughout the writing. In the opening track “And Everything Becomes a Blur”, he sings, “Of all the friends you made along the way / Every single one will pass away”, then in the next verse sings, “All the friends you made along the way / Every single one is here to stay”. Nothing monumental, but it’s a nice swing through thought that often comes into conflict with itself without feeling ambiguous or pointless. Although the lyrics sometimes debate themselves verse by verse, it adds a bit of variety to an otherwise standard but catchy pop song.

Title track “(Everything is) Debatable”is an 80’s style dance song, and one of the more upbeat tracks on the album. It includes an deep baseline reminiscent of the Super Nintendo game Chrono Trigger. “Summer of the Lily Pond” is a slow jazz track that begins a three song set that bleeds each track together into one piece and includes several muted trumpets and what appears to be a baritone sax. What will be a a fan favorite live, “The Magic Hour” has Kline swooning like Buddy Holly over popping xylophone synth.

Everything Is Debatable is easily one of the best releases from Hellogoodbye and cements their acoustic pop style as what they were meant to play. Although the synth and techno has made a return, it has been refined so that it isn’t the focus of the music. Instead, it helps to fuel a dance album that doesn’t take itself too seriously and manages to stay away from feeling generic. Hellogoodbye have found their style and a maturity necessary to keep a band known for pop songs from relevant.

3.5/5

by Kyle Schultz

kyle_catKyle Schultz is the Senior Editor at It’s All Dead and has worked as a gaming journalist at Structure Gaming. He lives in Chicago and yells at the rain on occasion. He also wants to play you in FIFA.

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