Search - Hot Hot Heat :: Happiness Ltd.

Happiness Ltd.
Hot Hot Heat
Happiness Ltd.
Genres: Alternative Rock, International Music, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (11) - Disc #1

Hot Hot Heat will release their third album for Sire Records on September 10th 2007, entitled "Happiness LTD." The album is the band's first since 2005's well-received Elevator, which spawned the Modern Rock radio hits "M...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Hot Hot Heat
Title: Happiness Ltd.
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 1
Label: Reprise / Wea
Original Release Date: 1/1/2007
Re-Release Date: 9/11/2007
Album Type: Explicit Lyrics
Genres: Alternative Rock, International Music, Pop, Rock
Styles: Indie & Lo-Fi, New Wave & Post-Punk, North America
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 093624996897


Album Description
Hot Hot Heat will release their third album for Sire Records on September 10th 2007, entitled "Happiness LTD." The album is the band's first since 2005's well-received Elevator, which spawned the Modern Rock radio hits "Middle of Nowhere" and "Goodnight Goodnight." Hot Hot Heat began writing new material in January 2005 the very day they launched a globe-trotting tour to support Elevator. "We wanted this record to be written on the road," says the band's co-founder and frontman Steve Bays, "partly so the influences would be more varied, but also so we could test out the songs live before we recorded them. We wrote music everywhere - Spain, Japan, Australia, the U.K. - so each song has a different mood." While "Happiness LTD" retains Hot Hot Heat's trademark playful melodies and witty wordplay, Bays says that what started out as a modest, live-sounding effort ending up being the band's most adventurous and experimental album yet. "It's difficult to describe its overall musical direction, but if I had to choose two adjectives I'd go with 'big' and 'aggressive,'" he says. "As a band, we got most excited about the over-the-top, epic-sounding songs, so we kept pushing the tracks that way. The album has its fair share of seedy club songs, but they are dirtier and darker." Lyrically, the album is about struggling to hold on to optimism and innocence in the wake of having your heart crushed. "It covers the journey from bliss to misery and the attempt to get back to bliss, while acknowledging how exciting the ride can be in between," Bays says. "There's an arc to the record as a whole; it almost comes across like a film, musically and lyrically." Hot Hot Heat's new album - the first with guitarist Luke Paquin, who joined the group after the departure of guitarist Dante DeCaro - was co-produced by the band, which also includes drummer Paul Hawley and bassist Dustin Hawthorne, and an array of top-notch producers including former Marvelous 3 frontman Butch Walker, legendary mixer Tim Palmer (U2, David Bowie, the Cure), and Rob Cavallo, known for his work with Green Day and My Chemical Romance amongst many others. "We were way more involved with the production on this record than ever before," Bays says, "so it made sense to work with certain people on certain songs." The forthcoming release boasts a host of wonderfully unique songs. According to Bays, "'Outta Heart' is the most non-Hot Hot Heat song we've ever done." The song features falsetto vocals, Theremin, a full orchestra, and "a gang of girls singing backup." Bays says the last song written for the album, "Harmonicas & Tambourines," has lots of tricks - like four drum kits at once - that make it more than just a dance song. "It's seedy and dark, but pretty," he says. "Like every album we've done, the new one feels drastically different than our previous ones," Bays says. "We put a lot of emphasis on surprise this time around. There are lots of twists and turns and unpredictable arrangements and instrumentation choices - yet somehow it maintains an overall timelessness."

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CD Reviews

Hot Hot Heat Takes The Next Step
M. Schroeder | Connecticut | 09/18/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Happiness Ltd. is the Canadian indie rock band's fourth full length album and it really shows how they have grown as musicians. The album retains the familiar Hot Hot Heat sound but expands it in new and exciting directions. The music is epic, the lyrics are catchy and meaningful, and the album has an energy that ties all the tracks together.

The album opens with its most epic and pleasantly over-the-top song, the title track, "Happiness Ltd.". It is followed by mostly up-tempo songs interspersed with a few well-placed and well-crafted ballads. "Outta Heart" and "So So Cold" are the best of these. As the album title suggests, most of the tracks explore the theme of happiness: how fleeting it can be, how important other people are to our happiness, and how hard life is without it. It appears to be a very personal album for lead singer Steve Bays. There are moments where his delivery of lyrics is so surprisingly perfect that he captures the emotion of the song in just a few words.

All in all this a fantastic album, fun and energetic, and comes with my highest recommendation. Hot Hot Heat has solidified its position as an important rock band.

Best Songs: Let Me In, 5 Times Out Of 100, Give Up?
For Fans Of: The Killers, Panic! At The Disco, OK Go

Chelsea Clothes and Brooklyn Dreams
Tim Brough | Springfield, PA United States | 09/25/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Hot Hot Heat must have gotten a cold cold shoulder in the love department; "Happiness is limited, but misery has no end," is how this once effervescent band of post-new wavers glumly kick off their fourth album. Make no mistake, the giddy percolating pop that threw Elevator off the rails has been broadened to include some serious downers. In addition to the title bummer, there's "A Good Day to Die," which couches a true Cure-depressant lyric atop a peppy melody, and the closing "Waiting For Nothing," has lead singer Steve Bays watching his ex-girlfriend walk off into the sunset as he whimpers "I waited for nothing, but I waited for her."

This is Hot Hot Heat going through growing pains. A far darker album than any of their prior efforts, anyone looking for the manic pop thrill of "Running Out Of Time" or "Bandages" might be taken aback. But if you let the album sink in, their are rewards to be found. The title track is pure Morrissey/Robert Smith vibes, and is one of their best. "Harmonicas and Tambourines" is a good song about misplaced aspirations and vicarious living. For those craving that keyboard driven rock that brought the band into the spotlight, there are the great "Let Me In," "5 Times Out of 100" and "Give Up?," all radio worthy zingers. (With "Let Me In" eager to give The Killers a run for the money.)

While they have yet to achieve an album that establishes greatness (ala the aforementioned Las Vegas guys and Sam's Town), there are moments that suggest "Happiness Ltd" was aching to grasp it. If the fifth album maybe stays with one producer (Butch Walker seems to frame the band best on the CD, Rob Cavallo a close second), Hot Hot Heat may yet catch commercial fire. Recommended."
The Evolution of HHH
Coogs | Great Mills, MD United States | 09/24/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

""Happiness Ltd." is the smartest, best-crafted, and most mature disc yet from Hot Hot Heat, not that there was anything wrong with the fun, bouncy nature of their earlier works. The lyrics in particular on this offering suggest a deeply personal approach that absolutely pays off. Perhaps most amazing is HHH's ability to deliver several of their trademark jangly, toe-tapping tunes, despite the turn toward weightier lyrical themes. There are no obvious weak tracks on the disc, and "Let Me In," "My Best Fiend," and "5 Times out of 100" are completely irresistible."