Creating an album is likely a daunting task for any musician. You want cohesivity without redundancy, uniqueness while keeping it digestible. It’s a difficult balance to achieve, yet Rob Johnson Music does it seamlessly with his new album “hi.” The album flows impeccably from track to track, creating a coherent body of work that gives each song space to shine.
In many albums, songs become distinctive because of their lyrical substance, but with an entirely instrumental album, Rob Johnson Music does not have this crutch. This makes it all the more impressive that he is able to convey such clear emotion with each song. Synths, quick oscillating melodies, full drums, and electronic elements create an intriguing and adventurous theme that runs through the album. Ranging from intimate to cinematic, acoustic to intense, this collection of songs will reveal your fears and encourage your dreams.
The first track, “i decided to stay quiet and let it pass” begins with President Kennedy’s 1961 speech calling for an investment in space exploration. This sets up themes of apprehension, determination, and awe that appear throughout the album- all of the conflicting and life-changing emotions of exploring something new and unknown, whatever that may be to you. Ending with the track “my battery is low and it is getting dark” is a perfect choice not only because of its name, but because of its intense drums and ominous synths. It wraps up the album both thematically and sonically, while still leaving you wanting more.
From the rattling bones and whispering sounds of “sea of skeletons” to the apocalyptic and disorienting reckoning of “god is laughing at your plans too,” Rob Johnson Music delivers impactful tracks over and over in the incredible album “hi.”
Written by Emily Cushing
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