A Chinese park waltz. A propaganda tune of dislove. A psychedelic pop lullaby. A groovy marching song.
Hedgehog is always evolving musically, Phantom Pop Star is a new chapter in their musical development. The album explores a psychedelic side of the band that was latent since their beiginnings, but never as clear as now. It moves some steps away from their pop rock origins maintaining their central sound intact with sweet vocals and youthful melodies. Phantom Pop Star is made with Zo’s melodic riffs, a lot of plucking imitating traditional Chinese tunes, and friendly harmonies that speak of evolution. Plus beats and grooves similar to disco loops, very probably coming from Atom’s experience with Nova Heart.
The themes are all dreamy, hypnotic even, they tell stories of acid loveliness in crude territories, battleing between disillusionment and faith. They sing “所有年轻的过客 都赞叹太空的辽阔流淌在探索的脐带里 等待着下一个变革” (“All the youthful travelers /Amazed by the vast of the space / Flowing in the umbilical cord of exploring / Waiting for the coming reform”).
Phantom Pop Star was produced with care in each of its details, Hedgehog has matured and expanded their horizon with this album, listening to its ten songs you can feel they know much more about themselves, and regardless their solid development and vast experience they are still exploring new possibilities diving into music with open hearts and minds. Their sound is still who they are but renewed, fresh again, and their style is more consistent even, that sweet rock they do with vibes of light and love, not being naïve but processed with a positive spirit, this must come also from the same source that feeds their ability to create songs that make us feel close to them and to everybody else that is dancing with them, that’s the force that keeps bringing them more fans to celebrate each time a new Hedgehog album is released, the same that keeps us wondering how will sound the next one.
Phantom Pop Star is telling us Hedgehog just crossed to a next level where their musical language is more sofisticated, and richer. They are one of the bands leading Chinese rock, and they are also on the top of the list of best producers for indie albums in China.
Musicians usually don’t work to achieve fame in history books, but we listeners are free to choose what songs become part of our history, and Hedgehog keeps delivering anthems and inspiration to grow with them.