When I listened to Robert John Hope’s solo album debut Plasticine Heart, I felt that I should definitely share these songs with you. However, the Irish is already known in the alternative rock scene due to his previous band life. In 2021, he is playing the guitars a bit more gently, though. The release date of his album was 23rd April 2021.
Robert John Hope – About The Artist
Robert John Hope is an Irish singer-songwriter, who is now living in Berlin. He initially became known as a member of the band Senakah (formerly Seneca) from Limerick. The hard rock / alternative rock band had quite some success and even toured in North America. In 2015, he decided to move to Germany due to a relationship. The album was initially planned to be an EP, but then, Hope gathered more and more material. Plasticine Heart is his second major publication, after the EP The Unravelling, which Hope released in 2018. Three of the four songs of the EP are part of this album, though.
Robert John Hope – Plasticine Heart – Track by Track
The ten track album lasts 39 minutes.
1. The Flood
The album opens with The Flood, which is indeed a very versatile song: slow, thoughtful parts as well as very rhythmic and uptempo elements are part of this 4:18 minutes experience. A song which might make it hard to define which will be the style of the album finally. But definitely a nice statement of musical quality.
2. Plasticine Heart
The title track is not meddling at all, it rather feels fine, well composed. The acoustic guitar is just doing what is necessary to create a gentle sound betting for the present vocals. Really enjoy to listen to Plasticine Heart.
I could almost use the same words for Colorado: the song is not trying to be loud – at least for the first some three minutes. It develops its spirit, its atmosphere. It feels like it is gaining energy for the powerful middle / end part, in which the guitars and melodic elements take much more control. For the last twenty seconds, it almost feels to collapse suddenly.
Easy is again a slow starter, which is gaining more and more power. The song comes with a touch of country music. Again, the instruments are just used perfectly to create a lovely mood, a perfect melody. Great writing.
5. None Other
None Other feels to be so different to the tracks so far: a powerful folk rocker, even having some electronic elements here and there. The song has been selected as a single of the album. Definitely a very present song, which stays in memory.
The electric guitar chords in the background lead to a strong atmosphere in the sixth track of the album. I love the very melodic, very easy sounding vocals. Again, the song comes with a fantastic aura. The song grabs you and just holds you in its own sound. Very catchy compositions.
Even though the instruments in this rather acoustic track become more present towards the end, Managing comes with a very intimate and personal atmosohere. The slow and steady work on the drums give a bit of a monotonous touch.
Ladybird is the absolute opposite to Managing: I would even say, this track would be the best selection if you want to play Robert John Hope’s songs in mainstream radio. Very present vocal performance, the rhythm leads almost to a pop music touch. Very nice listen.
9. High Crimes
Even though High Crimes just lasts 3:42 minutes, it feels like an epic one. I really love to listen to these powerful melodies and breaks to quiet moments. Nice one.
10. Simon Says
With Simon Says, the album Plasticine Heart definitely has a worthy finishing track, which closes the album in style. Again, Robert John Hope creates a powerful sound, almost with a hymnic touch. Nice one.
Robert John Hope – Plasticine Heart – Spotify
Here is Rober John Hope’s album on Spotify:
Robert John Hope – Plasticine Heart – My View
I have to admit that I am a bit of a mainstream guy here and there. Thus, if I am in touch with an album like Plasticine Heart, I sometimes struggle with the plots of the songs, with the complexity of songwriting. I had no issue like this with this album, though. It is great music, great and precise arrangement and songwriting. It is decent and limited on the one hand – but also posh when Hope is using multiple instruments to create a powerful sound. The album is interesting every second. It is surprising as well, but never unselected. I absolutely enjoyed the listen.
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