- Audio CD (March 1 2008)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Enhanced, Import
- Label: SBME
- ASIN: B0012GMZCC
- Other Editions: Audio CD
- Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
I gave this 5 stars because despite its awkwardness as an album it is still worlds above most of what's out there. I'll take it for all its flaws as Hooverphonic are brilliant even if this as a whole is their weakest effort.
Normally albums tend to follow a style and almost all tracks follow each other nicely. Hooverphonic's other albums are no exception. A New Stereophonic Sound Spectacular and Blue Wonder Power Milk contain more than the collective sum of their tracks. Even [Hooverphonic] Presents Jackie Cane has a unifying story and style that proclaims independence from their previous work.
However, The Magnificent Tree has no cohesive unity, as the album has its feet planted in different style territories. The tracks clash with each other. For instance, Frosted Flake Wood reminds me of a bizzare sock puppet play, while Jackie Cane has funkish retro charm. Pink Fluffy Dinosaurs makes you float into an ambient trance, but the next track l'Odeur Animale drags you through an eerie morgue of gloomy echoes. Clashes like these result in a lack of cooperation between songs.
However, each track taken individually reveals that Hooverphonic is growing up. From every drum beat to sound sample, their technique is becoming more sophisticated. They're expanding their abilities, and experimenting with new styles. Rather than commiting to a certain sound, it seems to me that they decided to just have fun and test their limits. The final product: An accomplished, albeit disorganized, indicator of Hooverphonic's broad range of musical skill and ability.
i still listen wistfully to "blue wonder", but oh, the promise broken...