Blue Hawaii - “Open Reduction Internal Fixation” Album Review
Raphaelle Standell-Preston and Alexander Kerby, better known by their stage name Blue Hawaii, are back with an all new fresh studio album “Open Reduction Internal Fixation.” Toying with jazzy beats and dancefloor grooves, the duo attempts to present an album comprised of foot-tapping modern indie pop.
Best known for their mellow electronic aesthetic, Blue Hawaii has slowly grown in notoriety across their decade of collaboration. Standell-Preston has gained recognition in particular for her sultry voice and range of sharp cries which she often incorporates in her music. The group’s notable hushed dancefloor sound has provided them with minor splashes of acclaim as well as a growing fan base. The duo continues to solidify their sound on “Open Reduction Internal Fixation,” playing with an even chiller jazz composition.
Opening with the vibrant “All the Things,” the group provides a crisp track which is highly effective at capturing the listener. Perfectly meshing the duo’s approach of chill grooves against sensual vocals, “All the Things” is a clear example of Blue Hawaii’s budding style.
Bouncing over to the notably melancholy “Still I Miss U,” Blue Hawaii presents a skillful, tonal shift. Transitioning to a far more slowed tempo, the duo excellently employs cascading beats to continue their grasp of the listener.
However, the album then begins to lose its traction with the hustled “All That Blue.” Standell-Preston’s soft voice gets drowned out by much of the track’s intense backdrop. Unfortunately, a major short coming of the album is that many of the tracks have a tendency to swallow her voice, leaving the group’s music sounding particularly unbalanced.
However, there are a few exceptions, such as the bright “On a High” where the prominence of the track’s captivating soundscape has a far more intentional feel. While the group is evidently attempting to lock down their fledgling style, it is noticeable that they often lose themselves when attempting to blend their melodies.
This issue is at its most prominent on the jarring “Boileau.” Mixing a wide range of sounds and vocal arrangements, the final product is strikingly not cohesive. This track also marks the other large struggle of the record, which is the duo’s failure to present tracks with memorable lyricism. Much of the “Open Reduction Internal Fixation” track listing is lackluster in terms of its revisiting potential.
However, the duo is able to end their album fairly well with the infectious “Can We Go Back.” A satisfying closing to an otherwise undistinguished album, the duo brings their record to a close with a solid exhibition of their vibrant aesthetic.
Proving to a certain extent that they have potential with their unique style, Blue Hawaii showcases on “Open Reduction Internal Fixation” that they have a spark of individuality. The group’s catchy dancefloor grooves set them apart from much of their indie pop mainstream competition.
Moving forward, the duo should continue their efforts to hone their lyricism’s strength as well as striking a necessary balance between Standell-Preston’s remarkable voice and the group’s notable soundscape creation.
Reviewer’s Favorite Song: “All the Things”
Reviewer’s Least Favorite Song: “Boileau”
Scott Perdue is a junior majoring in secondary education. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.