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Black and White Album

The Black and White Album

4.7 17
by The Hives

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Time and time again, the Hives have shown that they can crank out consistent, and consistently fun, garage rock. The Black and White Album's title alludes to the band's strict formulas for everything from color codes to dress codes to cleverly structured dumb rock, yet this is the album where the Hives break away from their routine -- they add some gray to the


Time and time again, the Hives have shown that they can crank out consistent, and consistently fun, garage rock. The Black and White Album's title alludes to the band's strict formulas for everything from color codes to dress codes to cleverly structured dumb rock, yet this is the album where the Hives break away from their routine -- they add some gray to the mix. At this point in their career, it's understandable that they'd want to break out of the mold, at least occasionally, even if they are the experts at honed, toned garage-punk. To that end, the band recorded with a host of different producers, from Dennis Herring (who worked on the bulk of the songs) to Pharrell Williams to Jacknife Lee, as well as on their own. Considering how many people worked on the album, it's a minor miracle that it has any cohesiveness at all, but the Hives nod to tradition by starting off with a bunch of sure-fire songs. "Tick Tick Boom" comes at your ears from all directions, full of snarling "yeah!"s and low-slung riffs that are tamped down like gunpowder before exploding on the choruses. "Hey Little World" is one of the band's best Stones-on-speed rockers in some time, and "You Got It All...Wrong" shows, once again, that nobody can write a put-down rave-up like the Hives can. If all the songs were this relentless, The Black and White Album could've lived up to its working title, The World's First Perfect Album, but the middle of the album finds the band taking risks. "A Stroll Through Hive Manor"'s tinny drum machine and horror show organ hints at the changes to come -- this is the first time a Hives album has had anything like an interlude on one of their albums before. Even small tweaks, like Howlin' Pelle Almqvist's more melodic vocals -- which recall Franz Ferdinand's Alex Kapranos or even Billy Idol's dangerous croon -- on "Won't Be Long," or the cartoonish keyboards on "Puppet on a String," end up making a big difference on the Hives' sound. The more radical experiments are, not surprisingly, the album's most uneven moments. The Williams-produced "T.H.E.H.I.V.E.S." is a bit like the band's "Emotional Rescue": A mash-up of hip-hop-inspired beats, new wave keyboards, and garage rock guitars, it might be more interesting than good, but it's also a lot of fun. "Giddy Up!," however, is just plain weird, with hiccuped backing vocals and free-falling synths -- but, while it doesn't quite work, it's too quirky and memorable to be outright bad. That The Black and White Album closes with another batch of non-stop, quintessentially Hives rockers like "Square One, Here I Come" and "You Dress Up for Armageddon" suggests that the band knows that its fans don't necessarily come to them for experimentation. While the balancing act between the Hives' new and old approaches is a little lopsided, making this album less amazing than Tyrannosaurus Hives, The Black and White Album should satisfy most fans while giving them a few challenging moments to chew on, too.

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A&M / Octone


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The Black and White Album 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
actually has danceable tracks on it but still kicks arse and takes name with that classic hives swagger. A few totally explosive tracks like Tick Tick Boom, You Dress Up for Armageddon and Try it Again. Bottom line is they push the envelope slightly with funky tracks like T.H.E.H.I.V.E.S. but for the most part still do what they do best.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is my first Hives album/ Since I bought it, I have also gotten their second album, Veni Vidi Vicious. All I can say is that this album shows how versatile the Hives are, whether they are playing a disco track (T.H.E. H.I.V.E.S.) or clanking away on a piano (Puppet on a String). But what truly makes this album great is that not only do the Hives prove their wide array of musical talent, but they also stay true to their roots and their classic sound to not only satisfy old fans, but capture new ones as well.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Black and White albums proves good ALBUMS still exist. Most albums today have just a few good, listenable songs. The Hives even after being signed to a bigger label still hold on to what makes then what they are THE HIVES, still have the garage punk sound, but they still continue to grow as a band. Overall The Black and White album is The Hives best one to date, and is a must for rock fans.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Good old fashioned fast dancey rock. Great live band also great to listen to. Makes you feel hapy and excited and BRILLIANT. Especilly like Bigger Hole to Fill and the quirkyness of "A stroll through hive manor corridors". The boys attitude comes through in these songs - and "try it again" is a really good song to listen to when you just failed...again. Tick Tick Boom is a fun club tune. And lots of them just plain cheer you up. Not 5 stars though becasue the track T.H.E. H.I.V.E.S. originally aimed to feature pharrell williams is really bad to be honest!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Hives Black and White Album is somehow so new and so true at the same time. Some of the songs like "Giddy Up", "Puppet on a String" and "A Stroll Through Hives Manor Corridors" sound so different from The Hives usual style, style that songs like "Tick Tick Boom", "Bigger Hole to Fill" and "It Won't be Long" embody. If you enjoyed hearing the transition from Veni Vidi Vicious to Tyrannosaurus Hives, chances are you'll enjoy this evolution even more. If you are new to The Hives - this is a great introduction. "Bigger Hole to Fill" is an amazing song that you can't help but sing along to.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The best album yet from my favourite band! I can say that there is not a single track on the album that I don't like, all the songs are catchy and full of outstanding energy and stick in your head! I have a few favourites but when I try to list all of them in turns into practically the whole album! I could listen to it again and again and never get bored. Well worth the money, HIGHLY recommended! The Hives rock!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Another great cd from the amazing Hives! EVERY song is worth listening to! Fantastic energy in each one. If you dont buy the cd your doing yourself a great disservice.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love The Hives and this is an excellent new album full of new sounds that can make anyone happy. Each song has a different sound and yet they all seem to flow together so nicely. Go buy The Black and White Album!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Hives satisfy everyone with their new album. Not only do they give you songs that are their own unique style, but dabble in mixing rock and hip hop beats. This album combines their old albums plus new material that we would have never thought they would do. The hives most definitely rock out this time. I enjoed it completely. Especially "Tick Tick Boom" and "Well Allright."
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Hives definitely became next level with this album. They showcase their range and diversity with The Black and White Album. They have done what many bands before them have failed to do...survive a decade and are only getting bigger and more popular. This album is great to sing and dance along to, and honestly is there anything better than that?
Guest More than 1 year ago
Time and again you both see and hear The Hives deliver only as the greatest band alive can do. For "The Black And White Album" The Hives have brought it up a notch. The Hives have now more than ever a depth in their album which you can't find on any of the previous albums. The album opens up with the hit single "Tick Tick Boom" and directly sets the pace for the remaining part of the album. You barely have the time to exhale before "Try It Again" blasts out of the speakers. A self-made hit. Before you really know what hit you The Hives delivers yet another of their trademark punk rock songs in form of "You Got It All...Wrong". Another relentless punk rock song that leaves you dazed and confused. "Hey Little World" has the same output. That's why "A Stroll Through Hive Manor Corridors" is a perfect song to unwind to. An all instrumental tune with nothing but a drum machine and an organ. Then "It Won't Be Long" comes along as an injection. The very cool "T.H.E.H.I.V.E.S." is the bands take on hip hop and is produced by none other than Pharrell Williams. With "Square One Here I Come" and "You Dress Up For Armageddon" The Hives are back on track with their punk rock riffs. In a madman type of fashion "Puppet On A String" is made. A song solely based on piano playing and finger snaps on top of vocals. A well executed tune and shows the bands wide range of skills and fingertip feeling. The Hives rounds off with "Bigger Hole To Fill". An astounding display of a punk rock band at their best. The Black And White Album is mixture between songs that are typical for The Hives and a few that surprises even the most avid Hives fans. What more can I say? The Hives will always be our favourite band.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is everything you could ever want from The Hives and so much more. It's the best. They are the best band EVER. They have brough back rock music and the seriously raw riffage that everyone needs to hear. The Black and White Album is a slap in the face that is desperately needed in the world of music. It combines everything The Hives have ever offered, with new, exciting techniques. I can't pick favourite songs, because they are all the best. Buy it now! Along with all of their other albums, because you will be a lost soul without it. 1,000 out of 5 stars.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Well, All Right! The Hives do it again. The Black and White album is simply SPECTACULAR. It's one of those where you can't skip ahead because all of the songs are of equal awesomeness. I love it. Recommend it to anyone that likes good music.
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