Hope on the Horizon
For those feeling resigned, down on their luck, or otherwise dejected by the hardships of life, rest easy. An hour of driving off into the sunset at the end of a romantic comedy is coming your way. Exactly what the album cover suggests, Lost Horizons’ debut album, Ojalá, does not dare present itself as anything else but raw, uncut love.
Immediately apparent from the opener, “Bones,” Lost Horizons do not give a damn about whether or not they confine to the current trends of self-expression of that love. Working both to their strength and detriment, the grinding vocals, dripping with emotion prove that these are some musicians with life experience under their belts. Just maybe, though, an abundance of variety is not under those belts either.
Going with the previously mentioned uniqueness, the rhythm of “The Places We’ve Been” bumps and checks in places that throw off the expectations of the listener, again confirming the prowess of these songwriters. But see, that uniqueness is apparent in the choices that they make on individual parts of the song. But as a whole piece, one is left wondering when Ojalá will bring more to the table aesthetically than can be achieved by just looking at the picturesque landscape on the album cover.
Adding to this brand of variety are the different singers, especially the male sing-talker on “Reckless,” and the David Bowie sound-alike on “The Tide.” This variety of singers gives off the effect of a group of older people pontificating on their respective lives while gathering at the sunset. Despite these differing perspectives, however, not much changes under these vocals in regards to the pretty, but inoffensive textures. The abrupt about-face during “Asphyxia” into a whirling Middle Eastern festival gets one’s hopes up that Lost Horizons is delving into progressive adult contemporary. Sadly, just a cul-de-sac.
The gentle, understanding whispers of “Winter’s Approaching” accompanied by the string textures leave the listener pining for the upcoming holidays. In addition, the wistful trumpet on the closing “Stampede” leaves one longing for that sound to have been incorporated throughout the rest of the album. By far the best emotion conveyed by Lost Horizons on this album is advertised in the name: Ojalá, which means “hopefully” in Spanish. Hope. A great gift to give to the world through music. So at the end of the day, a definite net positive for the world.