Halovox is the solo project of one Frank J. Freda, hailing from the eastern United States in New York. This project has been a long time coming as his musical interests have gradually grown into what we know it today. His biography reflects that of many electronic artists of our day with interests drifting and changing with the times until that key moment when they're introduced to the great New Wave bands of the 80's and 90's. Depeche Mode is always a huge factor along with The Cure and others.|
These influences are apparent in the music of Halovox and Frank's past projects that he has been involved in. The music is a solid, emotional style of synthpop with moody elements mixed with danceable beats. Many will recognize his efforts with Brand New Idol which he was a part of for some time and during the days of mp3.com, they did quite well in their genre. Now we have Frank's solo work which continues to build on his growing knowledge and experience for the release of the self-titled and self-released debut album.
Fans looking for some new solid synthpop will enjoy this album. Those that have really enjoyed Depeche Mode and similar bands should get a hold of the work by this artist. Check out selections on the Gothic Paradise Club radio show.
Halovox - Review
Having been familiar with Brand New Idol when Frank was with that group, I had some idea of what would appear on this debut album of his solo work as Halovox. So I can't say I was at all surprised to hear the heavily Depeche Mode influenced music on the fourteen tracks on this album. In fact he even covers the popular DM track "Fly on the Windscreen". The cover really stays true to the original with a little added percussion towards the end which keeps it moving along right up to the end.
I think of the many bands that have followed this pattern, he manages to pull it off fairly well, being able to capitalize on many of the solid new wave and synth elements that launched DM into the spotlight in the 80's, and then there are subtle modern synthpop loops and his own unique bits and pieces here and there. The various ballads build on the tried and true fundamentals of the past such as the catchy "Fresh Out" with the smooth synths coupled with a moving, but soft beat. "Awkward Silence" really brings the dreamy, dark and sullen elements as it gradually grows and lilts along with the soft deep vocals layered over the wistful electronics.
I don't want to leave the impression this album is full of these slow-paced tracks, or that it's a copy-cat of Depeche Mode, because it really isn't. But the presence of these fundamental elements are used to build a solid sound that creates a stellar album moving through dance-friendly tracks and breaking for the dreamy ballads in between. In fact, "Make Me Yours" is a very moving song with a solid beat and synth elements making it very club-friendly. It is simple in it's lyrical content, quite predictable and cliched, but enjoyable. My favorites however come later in the form of the darker and moving "Deception" with it's solid beat and layered synths. Frank's smooth vocals mix well with the music, moving along well with the dance-friendly music such as in "Insecurity" which picks up on a few of the harder driving EBM-type synths and beats that should open up the doors to fans of today's modern electronic music while still appealing to fans of the 80's and 90's synthpop.
This is a great debut album and provides a nice foundation for Halovox to build upon. It flows well and has a good variety while staying true to the genre and influences.