Actually, this album makes me want to be drinking a LaBatt 50 at backyard BBQ in the warm sunshine of a summer afternoon.
The album is exactly what you would expect from Hamilton O.N. indie-rocker B.A. Johnston – rapid guitar riffs, witty lyrics, and an element of nostalgia for being 9 years old again. But when compared to his other albums, there is something unique about this album. It sounds like B.A. has grown up a little.
And I like it.
The album starts off with a catchy, upbeat homage to the 1980s with “Raised by the Wooden Spoon.” While the song is written in the classic B.A. Casio-keyboard-percussion style, the production is a little more slick than B.A. fans are used to. Like a preteen wearing a brown polyester suit to his first high school dance, the song, and the album, has an element of earnest maturity.
But don’t you fret, B.A. fans – it’s still the same homegrown sound you love. Right down to the heartfelt love ballad, “I miss you arcade” that actually makes you miss your own arcade days – even if you never went to the arcade.
Hi Dudes! has more of the same witty lyrics and catchy song phrases that you would expect from B.A. When listening to the album, you can’t help but want to sing along. “En Francais” and “truffle shuffle” features harmonies that make me think of sitting around a campfire with group of friends, all of us singing along, vaguely knowing the lyrics and having a blast.
I have to confess something though – B.A. won my heart over with this album. And he did it with the song simply “Lawn Gnomes.” It’s a bright and happy end to the album that includes a banjo line and appropriately wispy back-up vocals. That, and it’s a song about lawn gnomes and really, who doesn’t love lawn gnomes?