Would It Kill You? brings your ears to life

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The Spectrum

Would It Kill You? Brings Your Ears to Life

GORDON DUBOIS

Staff Writer

Artist: Hellogoodbye

Album: Would It Kill You?

Label: Rocket Science Ventures

Release Date: Nov. 9

Grade: A-

It's been four years since Hellogoodbye last awed the music world with their pop-synth melodies. Now they're back with a new sound and a new crew with their latest release, Would it Kill You?

Their debut album, Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs!, hit number one on the U.S. independent albums chart. Following the album's release in 2006, however, Hellogoodbye largely disappeared from the music scene.

Since then, the band's lineup has undergone significant changes, leaving the lead singer Forrest Kline as the only remaining founding member. Hellogoodbye now sports a much different lineup.

On keyboard is former The Early November member Joseph Marro. Travis Head has taken over responsibilities on bass, and Andrew Richards is now the band's guitarist. The recording drummer for the album was Hellogoodbye's original drummer Aaron Flora; however, Mike Nielsen has recently replaced him.

Would It Kill You? reintroduces Hellogoodbye and deviates from the straightforward pop that fans remember from 2006. Here, Hellogoodbye shows a new, mature pop-rock vibe.

Hellogoodbye still manages to keep their upbeat tone, as most of their songs are about love, girls and heartbreak. Admittedly, many other bands cover these topics, but few put as entertaining a spin on the topics as Hellogoodbye does.

Kline's voice is the heartbeat of this band. In addition to his catchy lyrics, Would It Kill You? has captivating instrumental work, such as the ukulele in "The Thoughts Gave Me the Creeps." This track opens with a dark-sounding piano that cuts into a mellow love song with a melodic chorus.

"Oh what if I never knew your name/oh my God, the thought's insane/ what if your love is not the same/ as it seems inside my brain/ what if you're not really in my sheets/ oh just the thought gives me the creeps," Kline sings.

This track is just one highlight that shows the new fully-rounded band that has formed over the last four years.

Would It Kill You? has other highs as well. The album bursts into life with the energetic opener, "Find Something to Do," while "When We First Kissed" will bring you back to the memories of first encounters with a loved one.

Hellogoodbye creates a new identity that will keep their aging fans loyal and also create new fans.

Although it delves into new territory, Would It Kill You? is a home run that is worth a listen from anybody.

E-mail: arts@ubspectrum.com