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Jon Hopkins “Insides” Review

Published in Blog Archive, Culture Bully. Tags: , .

Whether it be the gloomy Maritime ambiance of “The Wider Sun,” or the layered funk of “Wire,” Jon Hopkins’ third studio album is a tremendous expansion on 1990’s electronica, offering 10 tracks that comfortably balance sounds with contrasting musical textures. Fortunately, Insides is far more consistent than Hopkins’ resume as of late: most recently the musician was heavily involved with Coldplay’s unbearable Prospekt’s March EP, co-producing a pair of tracks and adding electronics and a variety of other instruments to two others.

Coming across as a bit of an homage to the likes of BT and Leftfield, “Wire” sees Hopkins bouncing the song’s beats off one another before smothering the track with pounding synth and bass. Insides goes far deeper than surface-level electronica however, as “Small Memory” adds a defeated piano ballad, and “Light Through The Veins” unravels over the course of nine minutes, the song steeped with M83-styled progressions (without the added flair of aloof female singers, mind you). Having hawked songs to such shows as Sex and the City and MTV’s Dismissed, Hopkins clearly has a knack for creating music with an easy entry point, but Insides balances sounds in a way that suggests that there is so much more lurking below the surface. Now if only he could lay off the Coldplay.