The second effort from David Hoffman and company aka Six Years Later entitled Bad Habits is a step up from his previous release Road To Somewhere. Hoffman worked with Natalie Semkiw (vocals) and Rickard Langnesund (drums) again to help fill out the vision of his songs.
The production is smooth, the songwriting is more focused and I would say there are more single worthy songs this time around. There is a very slick, refined vibe to the songs that makes them easy on the ears. Hoffman never over does it with the reverb and never uses too much distortion to clutter up the songs.
The album starts off with the atmospheric and ethereal “Paradise.” Right off the bat there is a new age/pop vibe not too far off from Enya at times. Semkiw’s vocals are smooth and delicate yet dynamic. The song feels soft but also has some impressive peaks that never feel forced.
“Howling At The Moon” felt even more ethereal and atmospheric then the opener. That being said it doesn’t feel like it floats away. The catchy vocal melodies and drumming ground it into a pop song. “One Life” backs off the pads and relies on slick electronic production and a funky groove. This song felt like a certified single that you could dance to or just snap your fingers to. Up next is “Pressure” which is another deviation. This time there is actually a slow blues vibe. On paper it sounds like it wouldn’t work with the previous songs but turns out working out fine because of the reverb laced lead guitar and production style.
“Silence” is a soft, emotionally resonant ballad that is nostalgic while “Round and Round” is an upbeat, pop song. The album ends with the very ambient sounding “Carry On.” Semkiw’s vocals are top notch here.
Overall, Hoffman and company shows some maturity and focus on Bad Habits. I’m looking forward to what's around the corner.
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