Recommended Tracks: “Prequel to Animal Farm”, “I want to see the World”, “Jordans house”
Artists You May Like: Oliver Tree, Rex Orange County, Mac Demarco.
Hobo Johnson & the LoveMakers return with their iconic spoken word, dynamic music, and an ability to communicate the many problems of modern life. After a 2-year hiatus, without the control of a label, The Revenge of Hobo Johnson completes a collection of albums.
Johnson, otherwise known as Frank Lopes Jr., takes inspiration from an eclectic mix of artists. After listening to The Rise, The Fall, and The Revenge of Hobo Johnson, it is clear that this album is a product of a (albeit short) life which has been lived throughly. The defiance to stick to one clear sub-genre rings true to this idea. I would hazard a guess that even John Cooper Clarke would have some fun with the nature of the lyrics.
Despite the majority of reviews (at the time of writing) having been unsavory about the album, I will be a happy outlier. Not just because I am a spoken word artist myself, but because I feel that the album has a maintained authenticity, tenacity, and witty charm to it. This may not be Hobo Johnson’s strongest album, however, if there’s anything I’ve learned from music trends in the past – albums like these either show that an artist is going a new musical direction, or it will become iconic (see, Revolution 9 by The Beatles).
The album discusses a heady mix of personal and political; from the clear messages in “I want to see the World“, which is about the amount of anguish America has bought to the world, election tampering, and the wars, to the introspective themes of depression, relationships, and a wider theme of the hamster wheel of social media in “I want you Back“. The sprinkling of slight bizarreness in “Outro”, with echoes of The 1975, I Don’t Know How But They Found Me, and Bo Burnham. Alongside, in my own interpretation, a contemplation of God and the meaning of life in “Jordans house”, all in an extended metaphor of waiting for a friend to come to the door.
Saying all that, by far my favourite track on the album has to be “Prequel to Animal Farm“. A reimagination, in verse, of the Orwellian life. Almost anthemic music backs the rather sordid lyrics, a beautiful juxtaposition of meaning and musicality which makes it one of my favourite tracks. If not, of the entirity of Johnson’s discography.
Speaking about the album, he cites Karl Marx and progressive thought as an inspiration on this project. “My last record The Fall of Hobo Johnson was my first time working with a major label to release music. It was not for me. I decided my next record needed to be entirely under my own control… After converting our band into a democratic and egalitarian institution, we created The Revenge.”
I don’t know what’s in store for Hobo Johnson & the LoveMakers, but I’m excited to find out where they go next.
In three words, I would describe this album as: punchy, angsty, and accurate.
You can listen to The Revenge of Hobo Johnson on streaming platforms Spotify, Apple Music, and Deezer.