"Feeding Ahhs"

(Radius Records 2003)Hugo - Feeding Ahhs

Hugo's mix of groove and pop is something that MTV could be seen playing (interpret that as you will). Complete with objectification of women, uninspired lyrics and a distinctly mainstream sound on the ballads, "Feeding ahhs" is sure to please some casual music fans. Unfortunately, for a listener looking for something more, they're hard pressed to find much.

While the opening track, "Groovology," which should invite a listener in, makes me want to turn it off, they at least create a new word "“ "funkyintersexualgroovallcolaboration." By the second track, it becomes obvious that the album lacks a focus as electronically processed vocals pop up here and there and the sound oscillates between pop and groove-driven r&b with rap. The electronic pulsing opening of "Alive and wide awake" is heavy on the current pop sound with an addition of rap part. "My friend Alice says to me eat this magic mushroom and you will be set free," Hugo tells the listener in a juvenile way. "If I could open my eyes" is definitely MTV ready and the first song on the album that stands out as does the following track, "Back to when," a pop ballad.

The rapping of "Legal drugs" tries to make some sort of statement on the current state of affairs but is overshadowed by the repeating chorus of "Look at all those freaks." "Mean ol dog" starts off OK with reasonable verses but the layered, overdramatic chorus of "Damn where did you learn to stick like that/Damn where am I gonna learn to rip like that" is absurd. The acoustic portion of "That was that" sounds very nice but the album returns to the groove-driven sound with the much too repetitive and bland ("Cause I'm bad at being good, good at being bad at being good," Hugo sings for the chorus) "Bad at Bein Good." The immature and sex obsessed "Butterbean Sandwich" has a good guitar riff that leads into album stand out "Butterfly wings." A piano ballad, "Butterfly wings" is quite possibly the best song on the album. And, finally, on closing track "What the hell," over the nice, heavy riffs, Hugo tells the listener "my veins are turning green from the toxins in me." Hmm, maybe you shouldn't have listened to Alice, huh?

"Feeding ahhs" needs to tighten up and go in one direction. The ballads are all nicely done pop songs but the rest of the album has too much going on in each song. And while Hugo can sing, the material is the main issue.


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