Theo Katzman - Heartbreak Hits
Theo Katzman is one of the best musicians that you likely have never heard of. A member of Vulfpeck and deep in the LA singer songwriter scene, Katzman returns with this his second full length release. This album follows a concept of Love and Loss, but what is really clear is how defined Katzman's voice is and just what an absolute stellar musician he is. The groove on each one of these songs is so funky due in part to the stable of musicians Theo surrounds himself with but it is also his innate ability to write a killer pop song. His influences are so all over the place that his music feels limitless. At times it's funky, then a slide guitar comes in and totally switches the vibe to Americana. You would expect these transitions to be bumpy but no, He manages to make it all work together and really soar. Katzman is at his best when He is embracing his weirdness and writing from the hip. His instincts as well as great skill serve him really well on this album, there is nothing that feels forced or out of place the record sort of falls into place. "My 1-Bedroom" is such a sweet song, as a general love song, but then it gets so specific it really elevates it to a whole other level. Theo's personality seeps into his music so when you listen you feel like you are getting a peek at his goofy ass self.
There are times however when the album can feel a bit uneven. Because Katzman is willing to go damn near anywhere to find a great tune, his influences get a bit messy. The ballads are nice, but Heartbreak Hits really excels when the pace is picked up and Katzman is allowed to let loose. At 37 minutes Heartbreak Hits is not all that short, but man does it cook. Before you know it you're already most of the way through the record and feigning for more. Joe Dart as always puts in stellar bass work proving yet again why He should be in the conversation with the great bassists. "Crappy Love Song" is cheesy, but that's the point, so it is forgiven here. Heartbreak Hits may not be his debut record but Katzman feels like He is announcing his presence and wants people to take notice. With potential hits like these I'm sure the world is ready to be put on notice.
8.3 out of 10