Day 4: Elevator – Hot Hot Heat

Day 4: Hot Hot Heat – Elevator

Track listing

  1. “Introduction” – 0:17
  2. “Running Out of Time” – 2:45
  3. “Goodnight Goodnight” – 2:10
  4. “Ladies and Gentlemen” – 2:55
  5. “You Owe Me an IOU” – 3:04
  6. “No Jokes – Fact” – 0:39
  7. “Jingle Jangle” – 3:55
  8. “Pickin’ It Up” – 2:34
  9. “Island of the Honest Man” – 3:02
  10. “Middle of Nowhere” – 4:01
  11. “Dirty Mouth” – 2:44
  12. “Soldier in a Box” – 3:05
  13. “Four Seconds of Noise” [Untitled Track] – 0:04
  14. “Shame on You” – 2:45
  15. “Elevator” – 3:47

Interesting bit of trivia: the album’s back cover lists the tracks in reverse order, making the tracks appear as if they are in an elevator with 1 at the bottom and 15 at the top. Interesting to not that there is a missing track (track 13), like an elevator missing a thirteenth floor button.

About the album

This is Hot Hot Heat’s second studio album. Hailing from Victoria British Columbia, the Canadian dance-pop group’s second album features 15 tracks that are not only catchy but may make to start dancing or air-banding to. Featuring the piano and vocals of frontman Steve Bays, 2005’s Elevator produces a unique sounds that is fun to listen to. There are some problems with the less than stellar and memorable songwriting when compared to their debut album, Make Up The Breakdown. All that said, this is a fun album to listen to.

Thoughts on the tracklisting

The Canadian dance-pop, alternative rock group open with 17 seconds of what seems like elevator music in the “Introduction”. It’s something you don’t see from other bands that you get from the Hot Hot Heat: tracks that are just… noise… or even just 30 second interludes. Tracks like “Running Out of Time” and “You Owe Me An IOU” are just as brilliant, hooky, and smart as the songs on Make Up the Breakdown.

“Running Out of Time” and “Goodnight Goodnight” are the knockout one-two punch opening songs. “Goodnight Goodnight” is a brilliant song about a former girlfriend learns “you’re embarrassing me, you’re embarrassing you…this isn’t goodnight, this is goodbye.” “You Owe Me An IOU” is a personal favorite. It was featured in EA Sports’ MVP Baseball 2005. The song has catchy piano and guitar riffs and lyrics to go along with it. It is seemingly about a couple that has lost sight of their relationship. Bays, does an excellent job of word play on this track: “Tight fisted with his compliments/ it didn’t seem to bother him/ that talk is even cheaper told in bulk” or “She was in the habit/ of reapplying makeup, makeup/ eaten up by crocodile tears”. The clever word play, the crunchy guitar riffs and piano make this song a brilliant stand out.

“Pickin’ it Up” was featured in EA Sports’ Madden 06. This is the Canadians’ ode to those on-and-off-again couples who constantly pick up their relationships and put it back down. Of course one could also get several meanings from this song. It is a fast paced, in your face, track.

“Island of the Honest Man” opens up the band’s sound. It’s choppy and oddly sunny choruses, makes perfect use of the album’s expansive production. Warning it is an extremely catchy song. Flowing straight into the 70’s pop, ballad-esque “Middle of Nowhere” shows off a more moody and dramatic disposition.

Highlights of the tacks include: “You Owe Me An IOU”, “Middle of Nowhere”, “Island of the Honest Man” and “Ladies and Gentleman”.

Thoughts on the album

This album is incredibly infectious and catchy, whereas I found myself singing along to a majority of the songs. This has always been a strength of the Hot Hot Heat: catchy and poppy songs designed to make you dance and sing along. Of course this album does have it’s flaws, like most do. It is far from perfect. But this album is another gem from the Canadian dance-pop group. Elevator doesn’t sacrifice any of it’s irresistible charm. Trust me, you will be moving and grooving along to this album.

I would also say, it might not be an album to listen to often… I’ll admit it is very candy-coated and extremely catchy, so it may turn some listeners off after awhile. While the album doesn’t stray far from previously released material, with the tracks being relatively safe and not stretching an boundaries. But as I stated before, who says music has to be revolutionary and change the world?

Conclusion

This album is tons of fun to listen to. It is extremely catchy and in my opinion, highly and absolutely addictive. Ultimately, it was satisfying to listen to and was one of the most enjoyable “elevator rides” I ever experienced (complete with a missing thirteenth track!). Going up!

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