Kristin Hoffmann: ‘New Directions’ EP
Kristin Hoffmann recently released a follow-up EP to her full album, The Human Compass. The EP, New Directions, is comprised of three remixes to songs from the previous album. While the EP attempts to transform her ethereal Renaissance pop songs into something more electronic, it fails to realize the true purpose of a remix, which is to take an old song and shed new light/offer a different perspective by adding and subtracting certain qualities.
The original album has some undeniably beautiful piano melodies. Add Hoffmann’s distant, ethereal vocals and you’ve got a catchy pop tune, right? Unfortunately not. One of the qualities that the original album lacks is the presence of a single catchy hook or pop-ish melody. While melody is certainly important in any remix, it often does not have to drive the track like it does in most pop songs. With this in mind, I was hopeful that the three remixes could offer something that the original album did not.
With the exception of the “Ghosts” remix, New Direction doesn’t do much for the original tracks. While the songs do manage to maintain their prettiness, there isn’t much there electronically. I kept wondering when the track was going to “hit,” and then the song ended. For me, the piano and the vocals only carried the tracks for so long until I started drawing comparisons to Evanescence minus the crunchy guitars.
I do feel as though New Directions more successfully captures Hoffmann’s ideas and the original album’s ethereal goals, but it is unfortunate that the EP lack the sort of electronic punch that remixes need to be cool remixes that are worth a listen. Hoffmann sings about “a distant lullaby” in “Ghosts,” and that seems to be what this endeavor is: A distant lullaby that is too far away to serenade us to sleep, but just enough to keep us awake, like the ticking of a fan or the dripping of a faucet.