Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs!
By Kim Burdges
If you have misplaced your ultimate 1980s mix-tape, don’t worry Hellogoodbye is to the rescue. In their first full-length album, the southern California quartet has created a blend of power pop ballads fit for any John Hughes or Cameron Crowe coming-of-age movie soundtrack. The breakout single “Here (In Your Arms)” with its swelling electronic score and catchy lyrics captures the excitement and uncertainty of new love. Tracks “I Saw It On Your Keyboard” and “Touchdown Turnaround (Don’t Give Up On Me)” are dance ready hits, in which these California boys are trying everything from heartfelt to comedic lyrics to woo the girl. In “Touchdown Turnaround (Don’t Give Up On Me),” lead singer John Kline proclaims, “little league ’93 taught me how to take defeat/ good thing there’s no mercy rule in love ‘cause I would long be beat”- keeping up with the nostalgic teenage sound of the entire record.
Hellogoodbye breaks from their electronic pop sound on a couple tracks, including “Oh, It Is Love”- in which the synthesizer is released with a mandolin. With or without synthesizer there is no mistaking Hellogoodbye’s California sound. “Oh, It Is Love” and “Baby, It’s Fact” are two great summer songs that could have been unreleased tracks from The Beach Boys Pet Sounds. Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs! ends on a musically not lyrically mature note with “Two Weeks In Hawaii.” The song is reminiscent of The Postal Service’s electronic pop sound, but with lyrics like “you’ve got Polaroid/ and you even know how to rhyme/ I’d be overjoyed/ if we could just hang out sometime;” the song is rooted in 1989. Whether wanting to muse over first love or looking for a new summer soundtrack, Hellogoodbye has created an album of pure music candy that will have kids of all ages wanting to indulge.