When I heard that PlayRadioPlay! was finally working on its debut album, I was excited. Dan Hunter, a 19 year-old Texas native, had already shown incredible talent in the Frequency EP
, which was released on Stolen Transmission almost a year ago. I had a small fear that the album would sound like ten of his Myspace demos thrown together, but I needn’t have worried. The debut album Texas
, released on Island Records, goes far beyond the songs Hunter started producing himself just a few years before.
The album consists of twelve songs and eight segues scattered in-between. Out of the twelve, four are completely remixed and remade versions of demos that were previously posted online. Texas
starts out with the energetic “Loco Commotion,” which is one of them. This version shows a lot of growth compared to the previous. It is obvious that Hunter has graduated from using Logic Pro on his Mac and playing shows by himself to working with big producers Lester Mendez (Shakira, Santana) and Garrett “Jacknife” Lee (U2, Snow Patrol) and a full time band.
Other standout tracks on the album include “See you Soon” and “I’m Afraid There’s A Hole In My Brain,” which both hold the listener with their hook-filled electronica melodies. “Corner Office Bedroom,” which starts slow but builds to an upbeat chorus, is another. The last song, “Texas,” which features vocals by Ingrid Michaelson, is one of my favorites off the album and a great way to end the album. Though I have few bad things to say about this album as a whole, the somewhat cheesy lyrics may put off some listeners. Overall, the lyrics don’t influence the album too negatively.
There’s something about the way the songs on Texas
all melt together and connect that makes me like it a lot. With short yet sweet segues in-between almost every song, it leaves little room for silence and really creates an interesting listening experience. Before hearing the whole album, I was slightly unsure of how it would all come together. Now that I’ve listened to Texas
from front to back, I can surely say that it’s not an easy album to put down. Though I didn’t expect a terrible album, Hunter exceeded my expectations.
Release Date: March 18, 2008
My rating: 4.6 out of 5
Melissa Dobbs is a staff writer at Musiqtone. You can contact her at email@example.com or fill out this feedback form below.