Hop Along Review
by Jacob Shuster
Hop Along’s third album Painted Shut is the subject of wide critical acclaim, numerous awards and praise. This is rightfully earned, as the album sounds absolutely amazing while having so much depth and meaning to every lyric. The Album received Rolling Stone’s 5th best song of 2015 (for Sister Cities), Vice’s 8th best album of 2015, The AV Club’s 15th best album of 2015, and Stereogum’s 7th best album of 2015, as well as a few other awards. Spotify named it both number one album and named Hop Along number one artist that year. Hop Along’s sound can only be classified as alternative. Their frontman Frances Quinlan came out of the Long Island Punk scene, though she then moved to Philadelphia where she formed Hop Along. The initial genre you would label them as would be indie, due to the punk rock, blues and folk influence; though unlike their happier, more pop-ish peers Hop Along’s music never spends its time on love songs lacking substance or electronic beats. Hop Along capitalizes on small day-to-day moments of emotion that becomes extremely honest and intimate. As Rolling Stone said, “Hop Along knows how to make these tiny moments feel huge”.
The most impressive aspect of Hop Along is Frances Quinlan’s voice. There’s something really different, new and incredible about the way she sings. Like a band of it’s own, it’ll transition from soft gentle and angelic moments, to raspy yelling in a moment. The range of her voice really is part of what makes this band so successful. The guitar manages to match this range as it transitions cleanly from blues to more modern techniques with ease. The band is very in-tune with each other can you can hear from the way they play that the music is equally meaningful for all of them.
It’s not surprising that Critics gave it an 87 according to Metascore. As a whole the album in my opinion easily makes my top 10 list of all-time albums, and a strong contender for favorite album of all time.