An Hobbes is a storyteller and he’s taking you into a futuristic world in his latest album The Chameleon and the Thief.
If you’ve listened to An Hobbes Diaries of a Space Cadet part one and two you’ll have an inkling of what to expect from his latest release The Chameleon and the Thief. As a musician he likes to immerse the listener into a blend of the future, tinged with an old fashioned radio detective drama style, and he’s been honing that style for ten years or more.
My biggest issue with Diaries of a Space Cadet (part one) was the frequency and length of the narration. Whilst I enjoyed the style and found the narration to be well presented I also found it rather detracting from the enjoyment of the whole experience, to the point that I set my iPod to skip the narration altogether preferring to take in just the music. The second installment of the Space Cadet albums remedied this to a degree with the narration dialled back and mostly incorporated into the intro or outro of a track rather than as a stand alone part of the listing. Hobbes has refined this style further in this latest release managing to blend both narration and lyrics into one, with a style that sets the perfect balance. It’s not really spoken word, but it’s not necessarily rap either. A fine example being Blind Pig, told in the first person (as is the whole eleven track album) from the perspective of our hero.
The fifties radio play style is still prevalent as we’re introduced to a new character in Hobbes’ repertoire. A cop and his partner are presumed dead but from the apparent tragedy a hero is born, The Chameleon doesn’t recognise his own reflection at first, but quickly acclimatises to begin his journey as a private detective with a dangerous client.
The world Hobbes manages to evoke through his descriptive lyrics is only heightened by the wonderful production expertly supplied by K-Murdock whose music manages to perfectly set the tone and pace of the story, as exhibited on the track Run Out Powder which presents the energy and exuberance of the carnival of lights as The Chameleon and his client escape their pursuers in the melee of the celebrations.
The Chameleon and the Thief is a wonderful journey in sound and story with a pleasing rhythm and pace to it. This is by far the best work I’ve heard from An Hobbes, both accessible musically and hugely entertaining lyrically. A great start to 2015, a giant leap forward for Hobbes as an artist and a thoroughly enjoyable album.
The Chameleon and the Thief is available to download now as a name your price release via bandcamp.
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n his latest release, “The Chameleon and The Thief”, Hobbes explores the future through the eyes of a noir-style detective caught in an advanced age when civilization is in the middle of a technological transition. With a soundscape produced entirely by K-Murdock, “The Chameleon and The Thief” offers a truly unique audio adventure.