I have never had this much trouble writing about an album, then, again, I haven’t felt this strongly about one in years. “Love” is one of those words that is constantly tossed around losing its meaning and value, and I’m no exception. I’m just as guilty for causally using it especially when it comes to an album or a song. However, that was until I heard Hip Hatchet’s new album, Joy and Better Days. On the first spin of the album, it was love at first listen. And, this time it’s not just a casual love or a semblance of love, but it’s love in its deepest and purest form. Today, I use the word “love” in its intended use — with affection, reverence, and importance.
An album about personal relationships and transition, every lyric and every song fits together so thoughtfully and perfectly to create a collection so cohesive and flawless that there isn’t any question as to its theme or what was happening during this period of Philippe Bronchtein’s life. His poetic use of the human anatomy and feelings makes the album completely universal without losing the author’s personal story and meaning. Bronchtein’s ability to explore these human experiences gives Joy and Better Days heart therefore making the album itself human. And, although the lyrics are amazing, it’s Bronchtein’s full-bodied, warm, and wistful voice that draws you inside of his story as well as evoking thoughts about your own. On this album, his voice is as smooth as the top-self whiskey you want to reach for while listening to it.
Joy and Better Days is the musical equivalent of my soulmate and I can say without a doubt that I love it. I once heard that every life has three great loves and Joy and Better Days just might be one of mine.