Kristin Hoffmann: ‘New Directions’ EP

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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.

Hailing from 'The Good Life City' of Albany, Georgia, Colby Pines is the middle child of five boys. While his family is primarily comprised of men, the Pines family did have a female dog once... unfortunately she died... God bless his poor mother. When Mr. Pines was in third grade the doctors discovered that he had an extra bone in his knee. The bone did not possess any magical powers or help Colby run faster/jump higher, so the doctors surgically removed the bone and refused to let Colby keep it as a souvenir. Colby recently graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor's degree in English and a Master's degree in having cool friends and wearing great sweaters. Colby studied abroad at Oxford University's Trinity College where he was able to visit three of the four coasts, but was not able to bring back a baby with a British accent. Colby enjoys going to the movies, scotch, traveling, playing folk music with his band, BirdHead, eating good and bad food, writing, dabbling, playing Fantasy Football with his Pigskinz and Sundee Beerz League, reading a great book, and all sorts of music. While Colby has a bit of a bipolar taste in music, some of his favorite bands include: Band of Horses, Death Cab for Cutie, 2pac, Washed Out, Johnny Cash, Childish Gambino, Local Natives, The Beatles, Danny Brown, and Beach House. Colby is currently single and quite possibly ready to mingle. Colby has broken five bones, saved two children from drowning, been to Canada twice, and almost fallen into The Grand Canyon once. While he tends to miss things like Breaking Bad, eighth grade, Hey Arnold!, and Surge soda, Colby's excited for the future where he hopes to continue writing and doing the things that he loves.

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