"Beautiful Targets"

(Tee Pee Records 2007)Hopewell - Beautiful Targets

It is practically impossible to not think of Hopewell founder Jason Russo's former band, Mercury Rev, while listening to their new album. The twinkling melodies and overall dreamy tone of Mercury Rev has been adopted by Hopewell. But more importantly it is Mercury Rev's willingness to take chances and their playfulness with the songs themselves that Hopewell has also been embraced. Hopewell's fourth album, "Beautiful Targets" is light and poppy while blending the dreamy psychedelic with indie rock.

Perhaps no track sticks out from the album's songs like "All Angels Road" as the tune combines a retro melodic bridge with pulse quickening rock verses and an energetic chorus. Synthesizers scream at a high pitch before being quickly drowned out by heavy instrumentation with a trippy inclination, including a brief solo by a thick bass riff, on "Windy Day (Giant Dancers)." The light on its feet "Over & Over" waltzes on strings and piano that blends in with pizzicato accented heavier instrumentation. Similarly, a surging piano melody holds down "In Full Bloom" while an acoustic guitar driven start develops into a fuller sound on "To The Slaughter…" with both tracks adding smooth, drawn out falsetto vocals for a classic touch. On tracks like "Bethlehem," '60s style bubblegum pop melds with edgier instrumentation

Always upbeat, Hopewell's "Beautiful Targets" is always a dance. Just as the band nearly gets carried away by lively, sprinting melodies, in comes a song of ambitious proportions that leaves no stone unturned in its quest to cover ground while continually evolving. Hopewell does all that and more on "Beautiful Targets" while still maintaining a fresh and appealing sound.


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