To say this album from smooth London crooners Honne has been long awaited is an understatement. Since they appeared – what seems out of nowhere – there isn’t anyone around, who hasn’t predicted some pretty good things for them.
Four EPs and a whole load of sultry releases later, the album is here and while it’s good, there’s a slight air of disappointment. James Hatcher and Andy Clutterback are the minds behind the music, meeting at University and after a while eventually stumbling gloriously over the much loved sound that we know to be Honne.
Combining a strong collection of soul, pop and synths, all very lo-fi and chilled, Honne are the perfect go-to band for some late night self-indulgence fittingly both for the love lost and the besotted.
Despite having firmly placed themselves in the mainstream, they have retained both their depth and integrity. This is mostly thanks to their lyrics, which although can be questionable at times, are mostly respectable and not just meaningless rhyming words that fill most of the top 40 nowadays.
Both “Good Together” and “It Ain’t Wrong Loving You” are prime examples of their songwriting credentials while tracks such as “All In The Value” and “One At A Time Please” continue the popular, soulful, late night aesthetic.
One of their break through numbers“Gone Are The Days” featuring the delectable JONES gave us an insight into where they could take their music in the future, however for fans that were hoping for an extension of this… you’ll be sorely disappointed.
That’s not to say there aren’t high points though, the synth-tastic “Baby You’re Bad” oozes with the potential that made us all fall in love with them in the first place. We can’t forget the absolute summer and festival friendly crowd pleaser “Someone That Loves You” either, with the unfalteringly smooth vocals from Izzy Bizu, that will quite literally wash happiness and relaxation over you, whether you like it or not. You don’t get better harmonies than this.
The album is undeniably fantastic, especially for a debut. But, where it had the potential to be massive, it instead feels like an extension on the EPs they have already released. We know that there are more great things to come from them, it would have been good to see some evidence of that here.