Old Souls review by Deaf Havana

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  • Released: Sep 16, 2013
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.1 (7 votes)
Deaf Havana: Old Souls

Sound — 9
Deaf Havana have come a long way since there early days as a post-hardcore band, the change was first obvious in their 2011 release "Fools and Worthless Liars" which bought them into the mainstream and even earned them a place on the radio 1 a-list. However the band were obviously not content with the alt-rock sound they developed and have gone on to release "Old Souls," an album which is heavily influenced by the likes of Bruce Springsteen. The album features on top of the standard band, a string section, horn section and a gospel choir, which work fantastically to fill out the sound and add a new dimension to help them stand out from the crowd.

Lyrics — 10
James Veck-Gilodi is the main lyricist for the band and as he showed on the band's previous effort he has a talent for writing lyrics which will instantly cause feelings of nostalgia. The main topic for the album is about growing up and the people they've known and lost, for examples "Boston Square" covers the loss of James' friend Phil and "King's Road Ghosts" is about the town they grew up in and how it's changed. This album is the first which James' brother Matthew has written for, his song "Mildred" is a stand out track on the album with the dual vocals of the two brothers really adding a lot of power to the song. The final track of the album "Caro Padre" is a departure from the rest of the album being a power ballad which really shows off James' vocal prowess which is backed up by a full gospel choir and really brings the album to a close.

Overall Impression — 9
This is by far Deaf Havana's best work so far and is probably the best album released in 2013 so far. All the tracks stand out for different reasons however the best 3 tracks on the album are "22," "Everybody's Dancing" and "Subterranean Bullshit Blues" with the latter paying homage to Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues." There is very little wrong with this album but if I had to pick one thing it out it would be the production as it is very polished and very compressed letting little through in the way of dynamics, although this is a common theme in many modern albums.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Even with the additional layers of choirs and such, the band still really shines brightest under the lights. Live the songs work. All they lack in their polished up production perfection, they really show in live musicianship. Pretty much every song on the record is catchier than the last, and that is a pop trait, but it still seems pop is a dirty word. If you like the album, but you think the album's too clean; go and book a couple of live tickets. The boys don't charge much, and they're going back to the US over the next weeks. Besides that, they're doing the bigger festivals in Europe over summer. Seriously, see the works live, and the record will make sense!
    Nero Galon
    Deaf Havana's reincarnation was brought to my attention only a few weeks ago. Having liked a few individual songs from their earlier efforts I was interested in seeing what they had done this time. Without doubt it is a brave move by the bunch but what really matters is the result. I do agree with the review that this album does indeed have its great moments. Unfortunately its true that its biggest downfall is its production (in our opinion). For me the production makes me want to avoid listening to the album. I felt that it turned most songs into pretty bland pop-rock songs that sounded all too the same. Borrowing influences from the greats just didn't seem enough to hide it. Common poppy hooks into choruses put me off. This album has a background music feel to it but IT SHOULDN'T. This is a personal album to the band and they wouldn't want it to be like that but I just can't enjoy the overall sound of what was happening sadly.