Superhuman Happiness: Hands Darryl Norrell March 27, 2013 Albums The name is not a ruse—Superhuman Happiness kick off second LP Hands with a carefree celebration that is quite literally packed with cheers, laughter, and chatter, before launching into 10 tracks’ worth of rollicking party-pop. The band’s seven members and laundry list of additional collaborators combine for large-ensemble maximalism, which is neither short on hooks nor timid about exploring a wide variety of influences. But their true impetus seems to be their insistent positivity… a philosophy of life. Hands serves as a wildly creative backdrop for just that. You’ll know whether you’re in the right place once you get through second tune “I Can Hear You Calling,” a campfire-frolic with a healing refrain, breezy spurts of guitar, clanking percussion, and gritty coughs of distorted-nothings. The disc will move into different territory, for sure, but it’s a primer on what to expect, and once you let it in, it isn’t leaving. Next track “Sentimental Pieces” pulls out an irresistible bass/piano groove and one of my favorite vocal leads in recent memory. The message of the song—“be happy now, stupid,” to haphazardly distill—in conjunction with the delicious beat will ruthlessly crush the negativity in your brain. Parts of tracks like “See Me On My Way” or “Half-Step Grind” echo the recently-dismissed trend of chillwave, but trade phoned-in, washy production for delicious spits of sax and quirked guitar, endless layers of effervescent percussion, and prominent vox. All the way to the penultimate track, this disc is drowned in happy-go-lucky, up-tempo funk, but still manages to play around with different vibes and stay away from redundancy. For some, I’m sure the group’s emotional invincibility seems contrived. I could predictably say “Hey, stop being such a downer,” but the truth is, my first listen was in the din of a frustrating day, and I rejected these songs as coked-up alien pop from Oz. The next morning, it occurred to me—that’s exactly what I needed. Maybe you need it too. In A Word: Therapy Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.