Single Review: The Hoosiers – ‘Choices’

I won’t lie, I’ve been putting this review off for a long time. I meant to do it last week but for some reason I couldn’t find a good place to start. In fact, I still can’t so goodbye for now, Word Document. We’ll talk again when my thoughts are collected.

*Saves, closes, waits a few days*

Oh, hello again! Fancy meeting you here! Right, well, I still can’t find a good place to start but none-the-less, here goes.

When changing your musical direction, it’s very easy to stumble into a new genre half-cocked, leaving the end result as quite a mis-step. To ensure this doesn’t happen, you need to make sure that there’s an element of your older musicalities prominent, so that when it comes to your next attack at the Top 10 you don’t get completely alienated by fans of your previous sound. It’s not rocket science, but despite how silly it sounds, it’s actually a very hard thing to do: just ask Alphabeat, Miley Cyrus, or Gabriella Cilmi.

Thankfully, The Hoosiers approached their musical change with a certain savvy, a bit of know-how and quite possibly a few phone calls to some good producers, because despite it being quite a leap from the camp, quirky songs from their début album like ‘Goodbye, Mr. A’ and ‘Cops & Robbers’, ‘Choices’ succeeds in retaining that magical Hoosiers spark.

People underestimate how powerful Irwin’s voice actually is, and how dynamic it is, flitting in and out of falsetto in the first verse whilst leaving his manly, deeper register to boom out in the chorus. The chorus is where we’re really reminded it’s The Hoosiers doing some tuneful plonking on their newly acquired synthesiser: plenty of “Ooh”s add another catchy hook to the riff-ridden production.

On top of that, this song boasts the best ‘Song That Sounds Really Happy But Is In Fact About Something Very Emotionally Upsetting And Expresses This Sadness Best In The Amazing Middle 8 Award’ since Mika’s ‘We Are Golden’ where, like this song, the real heartbreak and confusion is held. Sure it’s all well and good just repeating “Stop giving me choices” over and over but only in the middle 8 of ‘Choices’ does the song attempt to scratch the surface of actual sadness.

And to prove they’re not just your average indie/electropop band, they’ve put a lot of thought into the video…

Elongated and slightly pointless intro? Check. Chinese Triad/Ninja Boss? Check. Wind machine? Check. Paper dragon Check…. How about a smashed watermelon? Oh look! CHECK. Very good stuff.

So it seems, The Hoosiers have craftily escaped to trap of selling short by attempting to be something they’re not; not trying too hard to please; and just being an all-round enjoyable track. They’re surely going to avoid the ever increasing case of The Sophomore Slump (see Amy MacDonald, Alphabeat, Gabriella Cilmi, Mika, and Kate Nash for a few of many examples) because ‘Choices’ is a solid lead single.

Rating: 4.0 STARS

Download: August 2, 2010 (OUT NOW)

Featured Album: ‘The Illusion Of Safety’

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