HONNE - Love Me/Love Me Not

Love Me/Love Me Not

There is just something about a splendid pop song that makes you feel all warm inside. There is also something about when that splendid feeling turns as love fades away. HONNE, an English Production duo, try to explore that idea on this new somewhat conceptual album Love Me/Love Me Not. The first half deals with the delight of new love while the second is delves in to it's decline. The songs are even delineated with their emotional state by a circle with one half light and the other half dark just in case you were not sure just what vibe they were going for with each track. The are trying to play off the Japanese tradition of two halves, both light and dark, making up the whole and for the most part it works.The first three tracks are absolute bops, lazy vocals layered of twinkling synths and plenty of good vibes.  The real standout of the first phase however is the duet with Anna of the North "Feels So Good". It's that perfect summer song where fresh love and beautiful sunsets abound. The title and lyrics might be a touch on the nose, but you hardly notice as the song unfolds in front of you. It's the kind song to put on, smoke a joint, and hold your baby close for awhile and just fucking sway. The skittering trap drums coupled with an almost big band-esque electronics feel gives the song this classic pop sensibility while still grounding it in a modern sound.

On "306" HONNE throws in a few hip hop ad libs as well as a Frank Ocean type of auto-tune piece that have the potential to make him sound corny, but He actually sells them here. HONNE clearly have an appreciation for Hip Hop that comes across, but not like they are trying to create it, they just realize that is the sound of current pop music and they harness it. The second phase of the album is a little less accessible. "Location Unknown" begins this section and while the sentiment is about a lost love, the music says something different. They slow the tempo and turn the synths down a couple octaves, but it still feels like fun electropop. Yet, maybe that's the point, even though sometimes love can make you sad you can still dance a little and feel a bit better. The songs still have this deep sense of feeling and emotion it's difficult not to fall in love with them. The songs in this section aren't as bright and boppy but god are they steeped in something really special. "Forget Me Not" the albums closer is the one miss for me and the first time I was actually sucked out of an otherwise really stellar album. Don't sleep on these guys because they are doing some really pretty things, and you don't want to miss them as they sail by.

8.6 out of 10


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