Chronique album : Orlando Weeks – Hop Up

Less than two years later A Quickening, his first solo album, the former leader of the Maccabees is already back for a new opus. This one, both in its theme and musically, is a continuation of its predecessor.

And A Quickening dealt with fatherhood, the joy but also the anxiety that results from it, this new album develops this subject in a happier and much less anxious way. Musically, Orlando Weeks continues in the register of an elegant and sophisticated pop, sometimes quite theatrical, always emotional. His particular timbre of voice works perfectly for this musical register and gives this disc a really special flavor.

Hop Up is a disc that embraces a very large number of musical genres without the album becoming incoherent. If it starts with an excellent title, Deep Down Way Out, which evokes the McCartney period Wings and that one then expects an album in this register, it will however be the only piece in this style.
The rest of the tracklisting evolves between dreamlike oddities (Yup Yup Yup Yup), pop-jazzy (the pure marvel that is No End To Love), classic pop (High Kicking, Big Skies Silly Faces with Katy J Pearson) and a music that seems inherited from the sophisticated pop of the 80’s. We think in particular of Look Who’s Talking Now (a title that exudes an absolutely touching old-fashioned charm), Bigger, Silver or Way To Go.

Initially, these pieces, in particular Bigger and its intro which could seem cheesy, seem a little kitsch and dated but it would be regrettable to stick to only one listening because we will then miss the beauty of titles much more subtle than there are seems at first sight.
And Hop Up sounds at first like a good pop record, it gradually becomes much more than that because only multiple listenings will reveal the subtlety and luxuriance of the arrangements. We are dealing here with an extremely complex disc, particularly interesting in the forms it adopts. Orlando Weeks confirms here the qualities glimpsed on his first solo album but surpasses them in a brilliant way.

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