I used to be a reasonably enthusiastic Hooverphonic fan. Not a hardcore fan, but I would definitely turn the volume up whenever one of their songs would play when my iPod was set to shuffle.
Then I read their official bio on the Eurovision site last year. Ugh.
Now, I try to separate the artist from their music as much as possible, unless they are outright criminals. If I let prickly personalities get in the way of the enjoyment of my music, I’d have to delete half of my music collection.
But Alex Callier trying to defend why Hooverphonic didn’t participate in the recording of “Love Shine a Light” for Eurovision: Europe Shine a Light set such a sour taste in my mouth that all of the miracle berries in the world probably wouldn’t kindle any interest in his band’s 2021 Eurovision contribution.
Then Hooverphonic dropped last year’s lead singer Luka Cruysberghs for Geike Arnaert, singer of their biggest hit “Mad About You.” I don’t know the circumstances behind the change, but my attitude towards the band now makes me assume that the move was a cold, calculated one.
If I try to be objective, I can say that Geike does a great job expressing the ennui that the lyrics are conveying. The arrangement is suitably lush in that John Berry style that Hooverphonic have made their signature sound.
On the flip side, there aren’t a huge variety of notes in the melodies, which makes the song constricted like it’s wearing a corset that’s on too tight. The backing vocals on the chorus sound weirdly whiney. It’s an okay addition to Hooverphonic’s oeuvre, and it’s a decent way to welcome Geike back into the fold.
As much as I would love to be able to review each song objectively, though, I also feel it’s important to address everything that influences my critiques. Therefore, given all that I’ve said, I don’t really like “The Wrong Place” because I refuse to give it a fair shake.