Hippo Campus - Bambi
By: Emily Usallan
Bambi, Hippo Campus’ sophomore studio album was released September 28, 2018. Prior to the release, the band released three singles with the track, “Passenger” being the first of the trio. Instantaneously, listeners could recognize lead singer, Jake Luppen’s unique voice; however, sound-wise, it seemed as if Hippo Campus was experimenting with disparate melodies. Jake has spoken upon the meaning of the song, in which he discusses about how it is about the obstacles of growing up with someone you love; “we ran like fools to chase our blues down, it seemed reminiscent patience going thin.”
No album is complete without its mellow song, and in this case, it’s the opener, “Mistakes”. The first track off the album is a grand opening track; its sounds are angelic and symphonic. Trumpet player, DeClaro Jackson clearly presents his soulful musicianship, which exquisitely blend in alongside polyphonic tones. This is probably the most honest we see hippo campus. It’s a beautifully impending track that sets the tone for how different this effort truly is going to be, in comparison to their previous work.
Once the song slowly fades out, we then move onto, “Anxious.” And right at the beginning of the song, we sense the anxiousness of the protagonist, given the constant knocking that begins just mere seconds into the song. However, toward the end it picks up and transforms into an anthemic tune — something we really haven’t seen from hippo campus in the past.
Within just a few seconds into “Doubt”, listeners can instantly recognize striking electronic sounds. eventually the drums roll in, which boosts up the mood of the song. This track is one of the most upbeat and playful off the album. The love song seems to be painted with euphonious and vibrant sounds. It almost seems as if luppen's voice melts into the omnipresent harmonies throughout the track.
Of course, we can’t forget about the infectious title track and single, “Bambi”. The prevalent drum machine, experimental beats, and sensual vocals all come together to create something catchy while also evoking intense emotion.
SIMILARLY, “Bubbles”, the seventh track on the album is undoubtedly the most distinct song compared to all other Hippo Campus songs. Out of all the tracks on Bambi, This one recalls the band’s previous sound. It’s reminiscent of hippo campus’ past efforts.
Overall, Bambi is a mellifluous album with countless experimental sounds. With almost every song being buoyant, there are its exceptions for what is really being said, like in "Why Even Try". The band has mentioned that this album would be different, but in a good way, and with that being said, they were certainly accurate.
Given the drastic yet unique sound change, many fans rush to compare it to Landmark. But when placing the two beside each other, it’s almost impossible to compare them in any way. Yes, both are by hippo campus, but each album is a different era of the band. each representing different periods throughout the band’s lives.