This is a review of "The First Word is the Hardest" recorded by four day Hombre. The review was written by Sam Saunders in 2002.
Perfect pop. Just what daytime radio should be playing all the time. Three accomplished tracks on one CD with style, passion, ingenuity and wit. Two of them are in the mould (but not on the coat tails) of Coldplay. One sets off into Muse territory.
The tunes, the dynamics, the depth of musical interest are all there, and there's nothing to terrorise the faint hearted. First track (the first word is the hardest) has a maybe-too-close Chris Martin vocal line. But it is a great tune and the feeling is intense. A spaced-out minor key first section, with a tearstained catch in the voice leads into a blistering guitar and drums attack that might need our radio presenter to be a bit crafty with the faders. Terrific stuff.
Track two (reSolve) has a haunting piano figure that sets up a very soulful and beautifully sung tune. This is the CD's heartbreaking star turn. There are some uncomfortable truths down in the lyric, and the sweetness of the melody makes them even more poignant. A subtle, slowly building harmony on the chorus is perfect. It's a classic, with a big finish that makes you want to put it right back on again.
Track three (too cool to Shop) is the alternative side as dry and bitter in its harmonies as in it's lyric content. It has jagged glass percussion and a screechy chorus with uncompromising guitarish outbursts. Not for drivetime radio this one. But later on, no problem. It also has some sharply inventive bass playing, punching with irregular stabs into some bad person's solar plexus.