American Hi-Fi – Fight The Frequency
August 17, 2010
If this review tends to be a little colored I will apologize in advance. I have been an American Hi-Fi fan right from the beginning and it’s hard for me to say anything bad about them, especially considering the enthusiasm I feel now that they are finally coming with a new release.
“Fight The Frequency” is the band’s 4th official studio release. They burst on the scene with a strong and solid debut album that featured the hit single Flavor of the Weak, followed by a different, more powerpop (with punk/rock influences) approach on “The Art of Losing” which was okay, but didn’t reach the level of the self-titled debut. The songwriting on “Hearts on Parade” was stronger again in my opinion, but I’m not entirely sure what it was, it wasn’t a lack of believability, but maybe they could’ve put a little more heart into that album. And I think that the production of that album didn’t make things better either.
Now on “Fight The Frequency” it feels like they are somewhere in between the debut & the latest release when it comes to the sound. But with a good production this time, the songs have a lot more room to flourish. While my heart might think otherwise, “Fight The Frequency” will not be the best release of the year, but I do think it’s safe to say that American Hi-Fi is right back where they belong, with an album that will most likely get them some radio exposure. The fun, free-spirited, energetic rock & roll that made me love this band in the first place can be found all over this album again.
With songs like This Is A Low, Lost and A Taste For Crime this feels like vintage American Hi-Fi. That is both the plus and the minus of this album. It’s recognizable, familiar, radio-friendly and has a good dose of rock & roll, but it really grabs back to previous arrangements the band has used on their previous albums. A little more variation would’ve made this album great instead of good. But regardless of that commentary, this album might become their well-deserved breakthrough, following up their 2001 hit single. And with added attention they will have an opportunity to grow further on a future album. Where Love Is A Lie, Acetate and Lookout For Hope have enormous radio potential, some of the other songs would lend themselves well for a radio single as well. But with songs like Keep It Like A Secret, Frat Clump, Stargazer and Bullet there is plenty of post-grunge rock & roll action to be heard as well.
With “Fight The Frequency” the band tries to remind the listener of their moment of fame in 2001 and I believe they might well be successful at it. The album is quite well-balanced and gives way for both sides of the band (the harder, more energetic post-grunge side vs. the radio-friendly mainstream pop/rock singles) to be showcased. A definitve comeback for American Hi-Fi? Not 100% sure, but I hope so, the band deserves it.