Whenever the discussion of underrated bands comes up, I always automatically think of The Hush Sound. It’s hard to get attention on a label stacked with more popular acts like Panic At The Disco, The Academy Is, and Cobra Starship, but The Hush Sound would rather not cater to the teenage girl scene. With the release of their third album, Goodbye Blues, the Chicago quartet furthers themselves from the Decaydance sound, as their brand of mature, piano-backed pop have flourished into a more refined sound.
Produced by Kevin Augunas (Cold War Kids), Goodbye Blues is a more focused effort, displaying a good balance of quirky, upbeat pop tunes and piano-driven, heavy ballads. Vocalist and pianist Greta Salpeter definitely carries this album, as you hear a lot of her throughout. Her vocal delivery has improved from Like Vines, as she demands more of your attention on each track she appears. She welcomes you to the listen experience with “Intro,” as heavy piano keys paint the mood. Two of the catchier tracks follow, first single “Honey” and the foot-stomping “Medicine Man” (which should have been the first single; hopefully it gets second single treatment).
Salpeter’s is the lead in the first five tracks, none as impressive and moving as “Hurricane.” A slow-paced, heart-wrenching ballad, Salpeter’s vocals and lyrics bleed with honesty. Guitarist Bob Morris makes his first appearance as lead on “As You Cry,” which is layered by jittery riffs. After the very breezy and fun “Six (Interlude),” which sounds like elevator music with a tinge of indie film goodness, the album’s pace definitely picks up. “Molasses” is driven by a tantalizing combination of the keys and jagged guitar riffs, and “Not Your Concern” is paced by staccato drum beats and riffs.
“Love You Much Better” sounds straight out of a saloon movie scene and is instantly catchy with huge shotgun-like beats, hand claps, and smooth vocals from Salpeter and Morris. Throughout the album, it’s noticeable that The Hush Sound are perfecting their piano-pop sound while incorporating a variety of moods and vibes, thus never creating redundancy on Goodbye Blues.
Like Vines was such a big hit with fans that they may be compelled to label Goodbye Blues as disappointing, but I urge the listener to give this a few good attentive listens. While it may not be as accessible as Vines, Goodbye Blues has the structure and completeness to make this an album that sticks with the listener over time. While it would have been nice to hear more of Bob Morris on the album, Greta Salpeter shows she is worthy of carrying an album from start to finish. If you are a fan of this genre of music, there is no way you’ll be disappointed, as the only thing you’ll be saying goodbye to is the same recycled pop-rock trash you’ve been listening to. Mmhmm, the Blues have never sounded better.