Family Ghost

Lauren Hoffman & The Secret Storm

Independent release, 2017

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler


On this new release by longtime singer-songwriter Lauren Hoffman, she recruits a band of Virginia friends and continues her string of intricate, heightened pop songs. Opening cut “Don’t Look Back” is a horn laden dark almost waltz-type number; it’s an interesting kind of track, one you don’t hear too much in a pop song these days. “Let The Waves Crash on Me” is really the standout here, just an all around-great song that needs to be heard to be believed: great vocals, great musicianship, just everything that makes a great song truly great.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Hoffman’s soaring vocals really come to the forefront on “Feel It All,” a great little rocker that really works from all the different instrumentation within. It’s quite different from “Sick With Love,” a piano driver that comes across a bit melodramatic for this guy’s taste, which sounds like something from the early 2000s by Vanessa Carlton. A song like “I Just Broke Up With A Guy Who Looks Kinda Like You” comes across a bit weird and bit more ‘90s than I would even be comfortable with. Luckily, Hoffman rebounds with the title cut, which is another great track with great piano and some really strong lyrics.

“Fast Lane” is another song that shines as a result of Hoffman’s vocal stylings and lyrics. She has always been a great singer, and her lyrical ability has only gotten better over the years; it’s great to see it on the forefront of this outing, which contains some of her most personal stuff.

“The Dragon” is a nice, tasty little rocker that closes out the disc in the best possible way, leaving you singing along and really getting into the feel of the music. When all is said and done, at the end of the day, this is one of the best albums to come out of Virginia in quite some time.

Rating: B

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