David Hoffman has a vision with his music and he is trying to fit all the pieces together. He is the principal songwriter for Six Years Later but like most accomplished visionaries he knows his weaknesses and recruits talent when needed. On his debut album entitled Road To Somewhere Hoffman tapped the shoulder of Natalie Semkiw to sing, Philadelphia musician Scott Martin to play guitar and Rickard Langnesund who lives in Sweden to cover the drum parts. Even though he recorded a majority of the album he sent the stems to Jim Salamone to be mixed and mastered.
I respect Hoffman for this approach because way too often I see artists and bands taking on too much by themselves and in the end it’s detrimental to the songs and the process. Once in a blue moon you can find an artist who can handle everything from the writing to the mastering but it’s extremely rare and even though artists who claim they do everything tend to get help from other people.
On the Bandcamp page for Six Years Later Hoffman says the album is a blend of pop, alternative and electronica. I guess you can make a case for that statement but every song on Road to Somewhere is certifiable radio friendly pop. Sure some of the songs have more electronic elements and some have more organic instrumentation but every song has a hook.
I have always enjoyed a good pop song and I think unless you are a jaded hipster you are willing to admit that too. Road to Somewhere may have a number of songs that push my threshold of what I can handle when it comes to pop music but there were a couple of songs that I was more than happy to enjoy.
Semkiw is a good singer and her voice is especially effective when it is paired with warm pads and electronic elements. I felt the strongest songs on the album were the electronic ones such as “Runaway” and “Young and Free.” Out of those two “Young and Free” has my vote for the strongest track on the album. It opens with lush pads and light percussion, which supports her vocals. The song really comes together when Hoffman implements the delayed lead synths. Another highlight was “Fade To Black,” which is a darker song both lyrically and musically.
Overall, some of the songs felt a bit too radio friendly for my liking but this is still better than 80% of what is on FM radio. Recommended
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