Album Review: “Reawakenings Vol. 2” by Hidden Citizens

I have been looking forward to this for over two months. I think in a couple of weeks, I’ll write a post about my favorite modern cinematic composers/producers, so you can see that there are many others out there that are really interesting. Hidden Citizens were probably the second act that I found once I started on this crazy journey. I look forward to every new single, EP that they release but here we actually have a new album. One thing to keep in mind with these guys is that they mainly reinvent older songs, so you’re hearing covers of generally cinematic and trailer music.

For this album, there are a total of 12 songs with some songs you may or may not recognize, plus some special guests that you might’ve heard on their previous releases. We have a long list to get through so I think we should just start it.

We begin with “You’re No Good” and I have to say, it’s the only song that I have listened to prior working on this review. It features Ranya, who has worked with them before and you will continue to see her throughout this album as well. I really like the strong introduction, Ranya has a strong presence on it too. I like the fact that we start very strong and have an oddly heavy metal sound. There are a few songs on here that I know to be in that genre, but with this one I’m not really sure about but I definitely like this version. The second track is “Shattered Dreams” and it features VE. To me, it’s a little bit more mellow but I like the softness of it. Whenever you have a large selection of cinematic songs, it is best to have a couple gentle ones in the mix to let everything breathe. So, it’s okay for my standard – I think I would have loved it more if it was down the list honestly.

Now this next one, I have heard before, but I had to look up who it was originally by, ahh Pat Benatar! Once I saw it on the tracklist, I instantly heard a female singing in my brain. It’s definitely more of an 80’s song than anything else, so to see it with a modern flare is very interesting! What’s even cooler is that instead of using a female singer for this, we have Adam Christopher. He has a high falsetto voice so it mimics what you remember, but with everything added in, he makes it ‘cooler’ for this generation. Now, unfortunately, if I were to let my parents–especially my mom–I don’t think they would approve but that’s expected sometimes! For anyone born in the 90’s, might remember this 2000’s pop classic “Don’t Speak” by No Doubt. I grew up on pop music so the fact that I knew the lyrics to this one, but could not figure out who it was by at the top of my head is somewhat sad. Anyways, this is actually very good and quiet too. Tim Halperin was a very interesting choice for this rendition, but I actually enjoyed it!

Our next song is “Paint It Black”, now I’ve heard R&B singer Ciara’s version of it for The Last Witch Hunter soundtrack but I haven’t found any others that I liked just as much. Overall, the song is pretty and dark, even Ranya’s voice is gorgeous on it, but I still prefer this other one right now! We move on to “Nowhere To Run” with Keeley Bumford. I really love this song! It’s fierce, ominous and pulls you right into the ride. I’ve always had a weakness to these types of songs!

We are nearing the end of our adventure with the last six songs, “Crazy On You” is where we go to next. Ranya is back. I really liked this one as it was fast paced and really strong. However that’s all I can say about it! Leave it to me to forget one while writing them out the list on my notepad. We’re back to normal now, and Adam Christopher comes back with “Everywhere” and I really liked the softness of it.Of course, it does branch off with a heavier tone later on but Adam has a really nice voice for all genres, it’s not overwhelming at all. It’s like smoke, it just flows away slowly. I never thought I woul ever have to use that metaphor but here we are right?

“No Easy Way Out” by VE is on now, and we have another still type of song but out of all the songs on the album, I think this is my favorite. It was very emotional and I have found out recently that I am a sucker for these types of songs now! I guess it’s a side effect of listening to a lot of epic music! This is our final track with Ranya and it is “Beware Of darkness” and I was really hoping for a desolate type of song and that’s exactly what I got, but instead of it being in your face at all times, it is still pretty mellow for the majority of it. I still loved it though!

Tim Halperin makes his last appearance with “We Are All Made Of Stars” and again, we have this rock sound but what I really like about it is that it gives the song this extra edge but it still has a nice beat to be used as part of your workout playlist. It’s a unique song! Lastly, we have “Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be” now the singer on this track is a favorite of mine because she was once apart Celtic Woman: Chloe Agnew. I’m not really sure if this is a Irish song but I love the fact that it has this quiet almost like a lullaby but the built up gives it a nice mysterious flare. It’s really beautiful and exactly what I want for the perfect finish.

This album as a whole was good; unfortunately I can’t say I loved it either. I was a little torn with it, because I did this to myself on the fact that I expected it to be amazingly awesome, when in reality it really wasn’t. A part of me thinks it was because of the amount of times that some of the artists come back throughout the album. There wasn’t a variety of voices in the songs as maybe I would have liked, but don’t get me wrong the artists are really great but I wanted more than what we were given! Of course, this is only my opinion.

Are you a fan of Hidden Citizens? What were your thoughts on their new album? did you enjoy it just as much as their previous releases or not?