Artist: Framing Hanley
Album: The Sum of Who We Are
Framing Hanley: You probably heard about them back in 2009 when they released their cover of Lil Wayne’s “Lollipop”, am I right? But have you ever stopped to check out the rest of their material? Truth is they are one of the most underrated Alternative Rock bands on the scene. Vocalist Kenneth Nixon’s infectious hooks, catchy melodies and unforgettable lyrics make him one of my favorite vocalists as well. FH’s long-awaited 3rd studio album, The Sum of Who We Are, was crowd-funded through the popular platform Kickstarter and recently released via their new label, Imagen Records. But does it live up to the hype? Can it match the beautifully strange nature of 2007’s The Moment or the incredible progression shown on 2010’s A Promise to Burn? Let’s dive deeper and find out.
The lead single, and opening track, “Criminal” has been stuck in my head more times than I can count. It’s got an extremely infectious chorus and, no matter if you just listened to it or listened to it a week ago… it has a habit of getting stuck in your head whether you want it to or not. It was the perfect choice for the lead single (which I don’t say often) in that it not only showed the progression of the band, but it managed to keep some of that old-school FH flavor that we’ve all grown to love. But throughout the album, we see just how much the band has grown musically. Of course, we’re used to the semi-comical nature of the band and… in essence, we get some of that on this album. However, this album feels like they not only had fun doing it but that they truly had something to prove in the long wait time that fans were forced to endure before it’s release. Some more standout tracks are: “Twisted Halos”, “Collide”, the incredibly bold, different and breathtaking “Simple Life”, “Streetlights and Silouhettes” and “Crash & Burn”.
Each and every track on The Sum of Who We Are shows just how hard and tirelessly this band worked on this album. It’s truly one of the best releases of the year and, if you pick it up and don’t agree, you didn’t give it a proper listen. So pick it up, crank it up to 11, sing your heart out. All the while reminding yourself why you loved Framing Hanley in the first place!