Hoven Droven — Hippa
(NorthSide NSD6062, 2001, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2001-12-01Well, I'm not sure I wanted a "kinder, gentler" Hoven Droven, but that's what we've all got on their 2001 release. It's not entirely acoustic, though the electric guitar is rather subdued, appearing only here and there, and fiddles and sax take the lead roles. Drums, while often present, never approach what you'd call rock. It's a pleasant enough album, with catchy hummable tunes and that peculiar Nordic way of being both lilting and melancholy simultaneously, but it does significantly lack most of the things which make Hoven Droven special to me. As long as this turns out to be a diversion rather than a new direction, and the band either returns to their previously aggressive mode or moves on to something new which is equally exciting, Hippa will seem like a quiet diversion. If it signals a new direction, however, they run the risk of disappearing into the bulk of the Nordic revival, another good but not outstanding proponent of Swedish traditional music slightly reinterpreted. Even the heaviest rock musicians sometimes take an afternoon off from the noise, so I can't begrudge these guys this set, and I won't hesitate to recommend it to fans. If you haven't heard Hoven Droven yet, I'd recommend starting with one of their first two albums – unless you're coming at the band from the folk side rather than the rock side, in which case you can start here.
Related artist(s): Hoven Droven
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more