The Hills

Nicholas Krgovich

Crystal Math, 2016

http://nicholaskrgovich.com

REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 08/14/2016

Listening to The Hills is like drinking wine; whether you are a connoisseur or not, just the very act of partaking in the consumption feels classy. This release, which is a continuation of Nicholas Krgovich’s Los Angeles-themed albums (starting with On Sunset and its companion disc On Cahuenga), follows this Vancouver-based singer/songwriter’s signature style, consisting of bright sophisti-pop songs with touches of gorgeous orchestral arrangements. The orchestral arrangements are a huge part of this disc, but they are not so big so as to overshadow Krgovich’s intoxicatingly sexy vocals, which is the real gem of his musical persona.

The Hills has an unmistakable aura of sophistication in how carefully it is crafted. The music is gorgeous without being excessive. Take for instance the track “Sunset Tower,” where Krgovich’s vocals are accompanied by just the right amount of music – gently played pianos, finger snapping instead of drums, orchestral music that wafts in and out like a gentle breeze, and an upright bass that thumps with velvety smoothness. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The best songs on this release find Krgovich taking this jazzy orchestra-laden, ultra refined style into the ‘80s sophisti-pop space. These numbers include “Mountain Song,” “The Place Goes Quiet,” “Lookout Point,” and “Out Of Work Jazz Singer,” which have a distinct sophisti-pop vibe, but are not weighed down by the ‘80s sound. Instead, the music on these cuts is fresh and very contemporary, sounding as if the sophisti-pop movement got a makeover for a new generation of listeners.

On the other hand, Krgovich takes a more experimental approach to his music on the track “Written In The Wind,” which sounds like the hangover after the grand party thrown by the aforementioned numbers; it is most certainly unimpressive compared to the rest of the disc. Krgovich sounds dazed, slurring the words rather than singing them while a guitar and an upright bass play listlessly in a drunken haze as the backdrop.

There is a portion of this album that consists of musical interludes, which are in fact short instrumental reprise versions of tracks from On Sunset. While it is cool that these cuts – “Backlot Detail,” “Rock’s Detail,” “PCH Detail,” and “Moon’s Detail” – tie The Hills with the tracks “The Backlot,” “Rock’s Dream,” “Along The PCH On Oscar Night,” and “Moon’s Soft Glow” from On Sunset, they don’t do much with respect to the rest of the numbers on The Hills itself. Instead of flowing into other songs or blending in more gracefully, these tracks act merely as purposeless breaks, disrupting the album’s flow.

The Hills is certainly not the best that an enormously talented musician like Nicholas Krgovich could possibly come up with. However, it will certainly do more than an adequate job in getting more fans interested in him as an artist.

Rating: B

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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