Album Review: Framing Hanley - Envy
When Framing Hanley announced they were going on hiatus in 2015, it came after monumental mainstream success from their cover of Lil Wayne’s “Lollipop,” 3 Billboard charting albums, and 4 Top 40 singles: “Hear Me Now,” “You Stupid Girl,” “Criminal,” and “Collide.” With Envy, their first album in 6 years, Framing Hanley returns with an album that picks up where they left off and shows natural progression as if they never stepped away. Backed by the buzz from “Puzzle Pieces,” a song that pulls its sound from their familiar alternative rock past and has already streamed over 12 million times, a similar feel can be found on songs such as “Carousel” and “Bubbles,” the latter which builds on the movement of the instrumentation and Kenneth Nixon’s vocal prowess to hit you with a driving chorus that adds the BIG element to the song. Big choruses remain a signature of the album whether it’s on “Misery” where they have you swaying along with it, or on “Maeve,” a song that rides on a different groove in its instrumentation then those previously mentioned, but like with “Misery,” sees Nixon bending his voice toward a falsetto range to add a new dynamic. But proving that they aren’t one trick ponies, Framing Hanley delves into their heavier side on “Forgiveness Is An Art,” while combining pop production elements into their alternative fuel on “Joke’s On Us,” which gives us a song that balances the line of two different genres without ever stepping fully into one or the other to give this the chance for massive crossover appeal. However, they save the best for last! “Baggage Claim” is the slowest paced song of the album, but it showcases their “Nashville” songwriting side the most as it relies on an incredibly strong melody and amazing lyrics to grip you and hold you in the song as it continues to build and build to the chucky, heavy guitars in the outro. Framing Hanley has given us an album that takes you on a journey in that it plays out like a perfect setlist, which makes sense since so many moments on this album easily lend themselves to audience participation. Most importantly, though, after a six-year album absence, this highly anticipated release absolutely satisfies the craving for new music from them.