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By Drew Stutsman

Electronic rocker HIji RR released a new EP earlier this year titled “MirrorBridge”. Rather than review it as a whole, I’ve shared my views on a track-by-track basis. Keep reading to find out what HIji RR has in store for this collection of songs.

“Wild and Free” highlights robotic chorus vocals with nice harmonies situated in the verses. It maintains a persistent groove and ends in a nice bed of keyboard. It reminds me of early New Order with its playful, uplifting electronica.

“Way of Life” is an acoustic number that gets melodic and synthy real quick, exploring the lyrical theme of the pain of growing up. The repeated three note hook was conjured later in the echo of a dream.

“Another Number” sounds like a soaring lead single to an early 90’s era synth-pop anthem. The infectious chorus crescendos with the ear wormy “It’s youuuuuuuu.” The keyboard solo that ends the track is the centerpiece jewel of this entire recording.

“WAND-F” is like that final stage of a Nintendo game that you’ve been working on after school for two weeks straight. With your childhood friends cheering you on, this is the part of the game where you face the demon with three heads. A dark track that gets darker as HIji RR pounds the keys and then hits a fevered pitch. The track echoes opener “Wild and Free” as a shadow self that is examined by way of an instrumental.

“Way of Life (Basic)” is, welp, a basic version of the full version, seemingly without the majority of the keyboards. Samples abound dance across HIji RR’s fretboard as he belts out the anthematic bridge.

“Another Number (Alternate)” is a stripped down, acoustic version of the earlier track. Its almost anglican sound is accompanied by a light organ bleat that lights up the whole track. This alternate version conjures up Vampire Weekend and may be better than the already stellar (earlier) version of the song.

Overall, HIji RR is firing all cylinders with this release. I look forward to hearing the soundscapes he’ll carve and polish for his next project of synth-soaked optimism.

Song/album purchase link


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