DATE BREAKDOWN: Hype – “I Don’t Speak”

File Under: Indie, Pop/Rock

There wasn’t really any hype going into my blind date with Hype this week, but I knew a band with that name would have some big shoes to fill. Or big earmuffs to fill. I dunno, I’ve gotten sloppy with this ear/date situation lately. Basically I listened to music with my ears and now I’m going to review it. Let’s not waste time on metaphors.

If you’ve read my past reviews, you might have noticed that I tend to dwell on the negatives. I hate to say it, but it’s much easier to criticize than the praise. Hype has given me very little to criticize, so prepare for a shorter breakdown than usual. I Don’t Speak is definitely deserving of hype. Boom. Mission statement. Boom.

There’s nothing even slightly aggressive going on here, immediately shattering my guess that I was about to delve into a pop/punk album. It’s a pretty light indie album that’s unlikely to alienate many listeners of the genre. The vocals are immediately distinct, and although sparse at times, they are an absolute pleasure. My main complaint would be that the music itself can feel a bit simple/repetitive and might benefit from more vocals. But hey, they’re putting this up for “nameyourprice” download, so I’m just gonna shut up.

There are four or five standouts out of the ten tracks, the others not necessarily forgettable, but really paling in comparison. That’s another reason I really think Hype is deserving of the hype and could achieve mainstream success; most hyped bands have a lot of filler. Hype has filler. I know that sounds like an insult, but I mean it with the utmost respect. These guys could go places. They’d blend right in. Again, a compliment. The thing with filler is that it makes the standouts stand out even brighter, and if you’re after a hit and radio play instead of a great album that’s lost in obscurity it’s not a bad strategy to highlight the good stuff. Is that Hype’s strategy? Couldn’t tell ya. I hope it works, regardless.

Highlights include “Desmond Clark,” “Lure Your Lover,” a great duet: Slow Dance,” and the incomparable “Brain Wilson” which might be a typo (intentional?) but I really could care less.

Going on a blind date with I Don’t Speak:

4.5/5 stars


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