Pop rock band Hold On Hollywood returned early this with its latest studio recording Love Stories. The four-song EP is an easy fit for any mainstream Top 40 radio programmer’s list. That is proven through the record’s fully accessible musical arrangements and its lyrical themes, both of which will be discussed shortly. The record’s sequencing notable in its own right, too. All three elements are key in their own way to this latest offering from the up-and-coming outfit. All things considered, they make Love Stories a work that will appeal to most pop rock audiences.
Hold On Hollywood’s recently released EP Love Stories is a work that, given the right support and attention could be a success with most of this nation’s mainstream Top 40 stations. That is proven in part through the musical arrangements that make up the 18-minute record’s body. From start to end, the arrangements easily lend themselves to comparisons to works from so many of the band’s more well-known counterparts. The record’s opener, ‘Second Favorite’ supports the noted statements. The arrangement at the center of ‘Second Favorite’ immediately lends itself to a comparison to works from Lifehouse, what with the harmonics from the guitars and bass, and the vocal delivery of front man Ian Dartez. ‘Anything You Say’ meanwhile boasts a similarity to works from Theory of a Deadnan (albeit slight) in its heavier arrangement. ‘Movies,’ the EP’s third entry, conjures thoughts of early Fuel and Puddle of Mudd, yet again taking audiences back to the early to mid 90s. The Lifehouse comparison returns in ‘Too Late,’ along with a comparison to Daughtry, before the band takes audiences even father back in time with its cover of Eddie Money’s 80s hit song ‘Take Me Home Tonight.’ Looking back through these arrangements, it is clear that the arrangements bear strong similarity to works from so many of the band’s more well-known counterparts that rose to fame during the 90s. Even with those influences, the arrangements still boast their own identity that will appeal to fans of those bands. Keeping this in mind, it becomes clear why this aspect of the band’s new EP is so important to its odds for success. It is just one of the elements that makes this record a potentially successful offering from HOH. The record’s lyrical content adds to its appeal.
The lyrical content featured throughout the body of Love Stories matches the record’s title quite well. That is because all five of the songs featured in this record center on the topic of relationships. ‘Second Favorite’ seems, in its body, to come from the standpoint of someone who has gone through a difficult situation and is pleading with that other person to not end the relationship, even noting in the song’s second verse about having been afraid to let go and that he will do whatever it takes “as long as you want me.” There is even the mention here of making amends, so naturally, it can be assumed that this song focuses on a relationship that is on the verge of ending. ‘Anything You Say’ seems to be much in the same vein as the record’s opener, with the song’s subject adding to the statement that days without that second person are that much more grey. ‘Movies’ seems to take a different tone in its lyrical content than the lyrical content in the EP’s first two songs. This work seems to be more upbeat than its predecessors, adding more of a positive, hopeful tone than those songs. This time, audiences get a work that seems to be more about a relationship that is going well, and at a point at which the couple is remembering how the relationship started. It serves as a good “break point” of sorts for the record, considering that it does change the record’s overall tone. That happier tone only lasts but so long as the EP makes its way out of that song and into the more melancholy ‘Too Late.’ This song opens up with front man Ian Dartez stating, “Is it too late…You can just say what’s on your mind/is we’ll never do this again.” He even notes later in the song, “Looking back/I should have told you/That I’m sorry/It hasn’t been quite as easy/As it seems.” Between these lines and the rest of the song’s lyrics, it becomes obvious that this song comes from the standpoint of a relationship that met its end, and now the subject is looking back in hindsight at how it came to its end. ‘Take Me Home Tonight’ takes the exact opposite sire of the familiar mater of relationships. This is a relationship that is not even at it’s beginning, but rather that earliest infancy. That is clear in the very statement sung by Eddie Money, “take me home tonight.” This is that early courtship stage. Looking at this and the rest of the EP’s lyrical content, the band has covered here, pretty much every stage of any relationship. The closer is that “infant” stage of the relationship. ‘Movies’ is the late stage with the happier moments. ‘Second Favorite’ comes across as a relationship on the verge of ending. ‘Anything You Say’ is that relationship even closer to the edge, and ‘Too Late’ finds the song’s subject looking back at the ended relationship. It’s definitely something interesting to contemplate, that in just five songs, this record reaches on the key points of so many relationships. To that end, it will certainly connect with a wide range of audiences, especially when this aspect is considered along with the record’s collective radio ready musical arrangements. Keeping all of this in mind, the musical and lyrical content featured in this record is only a portion of what makes the EP a potential success for the band. The EP’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements.
Love Stories’ sequencing is key to address because it ensures the record’s energy remains stable from beginning to end of the production. Even in the record’s more reserved moments in ‘Movies’ and ‘Too Late,’ the record doesn’t get but so reserved. Rather the songs manage to keep the energy just balanced enough with their more melancholic vibes. ‘Take Me Home Tonight,’ keeps the energy right at its key level where it remained through the rest of the record, again ensuring listeners’ engagement and entertainment. That stability and consistency in the EP’s sequencing works with the songs and their companion lyrical content to complete the EP’s presentation. All things considered, they make Love Stories a positive return for Hold on Hollywood that any pop rock fan will appreciate.
Hold on Hollywood’s new EP Love Stories is a simple and accessible record that will appeal to a wide range of audiences. That is due in part to five musical arrangements, each of which is fully accessible for audiences and ready for any Top 40 radio programmer’s play list. The arrangements’ accompanying lyrical content are just as accessible as said musical content. The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements, ensuring the EP’s energy remains stable from start to end. All three noted items are important in their own way to the whole of the EP. All things considered, they make Love Stories a record that given the right support, could be a hit for Hold on Hollywood. The record is available now. More information on the EP is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:
To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://phispicks.wordpress.com.