Swiftly-increasing artist Frank Lopes Jr., superior identified as Hobo Johnson, released his sophomore album currently. Titled The Fall of Hobo Johnson, the record is a an fascinating comply with-up to the 1st recording, The Rise of Hobo Johnson, pursuing comparable musical themes when at the very same time moving into new terrain.
As indicated in the album’s titular inversion of the 1st project, Hobo’s new operate opens up broader space for exploration than his prior projects. Particularly, it shuttles in between the intimate globe of self-doubt, shame, and uncertainty, and broader themes of politics, globe conflict, and history. In the end, although, it is significantly less a shuttling-in between than a candid appear at the messy interplay in between the political and the private.
The Power of Breaking Musical Boundaries
Musically, The Fall of Hobo Johnson continues to revel in the hybridity that has defined his earlier operate and for which he has turn into identified.
His vocal delivery ranges from uncomplicated sing-song rhyming, to totally free-flowing poetry reading, to the painful guttural cries. When Hobo is identified for disregarding and transgressing distinctions in between musical genres, it is at instances tough to inform if the rudimentary rhyming on numerous of the album’s tracks is a self-conscious selection or a musical shortcoming.
Regardless of this, Hobo’s vocals playfully complement and run on best of far-reaching instrumentations that blend components of hip-hop, rock, folk, and punk. Moving from the upbeat horns of “Uglykid” to the moody electronic distortions of “Sorry, My Dear,” listeners by no means know exactly where the subsequent track will take them.
With the exception of only some incredibly short lulls, listening to the album is typically engaging, entertaining, and energizing.
Celebrating the Outcast and the Misfit
Hobo’s lyrics—the concerns they discover, the messes they appear at, and the conclusions they suggest—are arguably the most fascinating portion of the new album.
Hobo positions deeply private issues subsequent to, inside, and in contrast to bigger political-social structures. Particularly, he is most interested in the points of friction exactly where social norms exert oppressive and potentially deadly stress onto peoples’ private lives.
In undertaking so, Hobo regularly aligns with the position of the outcast, the misfit, and the lonely. He chooses the side of these who do not match in with the mainstream.
He is the ugly kid of “Uglykid.” And in an earlier statement he described the music video to the album’s lead single, “Typical Story,” as depicting “my somewhat surrealist view of a Los Angeles pool celebration, which I have by no means got invited to.” For Hobo, the complete album is for and about “all the misfits who by no means get invited” to the cool kids’ celebration.
Hobo openly acknowledges the discomfort that can come from living in the position of the outcast or the slightly-out-of-step. And his music hopes to bring some sense of belonging and hope to these who may well be drowning in that discomfort.
“The new album is a mix of songs and poems I’ve had floating about in my head for the final handful of year,” Hobo mentioned of the new album. “I’m actually proud of it and hope that it tends to make everybody really feel a tiny significantly less alone and a tiny far more like they want to remain alive.”
Outdoors Social Norms, Totally free of Social Norms
Ultimately—and regardless of the discomfort and challenges of becoming outcast—Hobo sees this variety of alienation as a preferable position. He lives in it, but he also chooses it.
For Hobo, becoming the “ugly kid” outdoors of normative society is also to be totally free of society’s suffocating pressures and expectations. Totally free to carve out new relationships and connections with other individuals. Totally free to develop and uncover new approaches of possessing entertaining and obtaining pleasure.
For Hobo, the ground on which the outcasts reside may possibly also the ground that most clearly highlights the absurdity and violence of numerous of our social norms.
In the end, Hobo wonders if alienation may possibly truly be the position very best-suited to critiquing systems of energy and social norms—particularly the cruelty of these systems. And in spot of that cruelty, Hobo creates a musical globe that is each an anguished cry and a raucous celebration exactly where he and his misfit good friends can enjoy every single other and themselves.
Stream the album right here!