this week for the weekly review, we’re taking a look at Hawaii: Pt II, released on 12:12 on 12/12/12, by former Tally Hall member Joe Hawley (though it features work by most of the rest of Tally Hall as well, haha), under the nameミラクルミュージカル (or Miracle Musical). let’s check it out!

Introduction to the Snow is our opener – careful, drifting piano intros some very pleasant strings, and a fuzzy, almost radio’d out voice, backed by some nice melodies, with similarly fuzzy finish. solid opening! Isle Unto Thyself is extremely fun – its got an interesting sense of marvel to it, and i REALLY like what the drums and bass are doing under this song. lyrically, it’s playing with themes of isolation, dreaming, and unreality, which sets a good tone for what the rest of the album will explore. Black Rainbows is one of my fave tracks on the record – it’s got that shift immediately into the bassier vibes, and the deep voice blending into the synth tones is a neat touch. the way the bits of marimba percussion and those lighter vocals sit on top of it is very cool! big fan of this track. the shift into White Ball FEELS like it should be disruptive but is surprisingly effective. the song’s p good, but the best part for me is when they talk about gods tangoing in space, and the song shifts into a tango for a bit, haha. the way the “such impossible bliss” builds a bit feverishly near the end is also good, but the way it crests kinda undercuts it. Murders is another extremely interesting track – it feels very straightforward at the start of the track, but introduces some weird, strange elements that build until the song breaks in the bridge, and mellows into the outro. 宇宙ステーションのレベル7 (Space Station Level 7) is a very strange track about ascending into space. feels very much like a computer comforting folks on a first space voyage. The Mind Electric is palindromic – the reversed section that plays first is the back half of the song, but reversed. an extremely interesting package – given the lyrical content, this song feels very much like it is intentionally straddling borders. last few verses especially shine for me. Labyrinth brings in Shane Maux for some rap verses, and KAYE for the chorus. the song overall feels a bit out of place – not drastically so, and ends up feeling like a part of a dream that shows its hand a bit too much. pretty good track. i think Time Machine feels the most like a Tally Hall song – that’s not a bad thing, since i enjoy the song quite a bit, but given how much the rest of the record is shooting off in strange places its neat to see this track this deep in the tracklist, haha. Stranded Lullaby’s nice. the things i have to say about it are less about the track, and more about the record’s structure, so i’ll leave that for below. Dream Sweet in Sea Major in an excellent closer – it reprises Introduction to the Snow while launching into a much larger suite.

faves – Black Rainbows, Murders, Time Machine, Dream Sweet in Sea Major
dislikes –

i’m not sure i’ve fully worked it out, but Stranded Lullaby’s lyrical content reminds me a lot of Isle Unto Thyself, and stylistically the closer Dream Sweet in Sea Major builds upon the fuzzy vocal, orchestral style of the opener, Introduction to the Snow. together, it indicates that the record may be trying to do what the Mind Electric does, reflecting itself palindromically. there’s a lot here, musically and lyrically, and i really enjoyed the performances throughout the record quite a bit! i think it’s a bit off my normal beaten path, but i’m glad i took some time with it, and i can def see myself spending a soft afternoon with it again.

Hawaii: Pt II – 7/10

for the next Weekly Album Review, i’ll be checking out the Bocchi the Rock Anime OST. i’ll be back next Friday, July 21st with that review and to pick another weekly record, and in the meantime, let me know what album you’d like me to review! (i pool all suggestions in one place, and draw a person, then one pick from that person, so feel free to drop as many as you’d like! if you leave an email or username i’ll contact you when i’ve gotten through all your suggestions.)