At 40, and on his 8th studio album, Thom Hell wanted to write a compendium of his life, directly inspired by his all-time favourite musicians and accompanied by lyrics drawn from his own biography. The result is 16 tracks for an hour-long, all-encompassing trip down Hell’s memory lane. If the orchestral, opening ‘Grow Up’ – with its symphonic flutes and string arrangement – perfectly introduces to the mood of the album, it’s ‘In The Night’ that sums up all of Thom Hell’s intentions.
A composite track, it starts as a piano ballad reminiscent of Elton John, immediately exploding with Hell’s voice in falsetto, and includes a choir and a Brian May-esque guitar part. It evolves in an interlude, which is reminiscent of both Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and The Beatles’ ‘Maxwell’s Silver Hammer’ (‘Abbey Road’ is one of the heaviest influences in the album), and finishes with a spacey coda inspired by Pink Floyd.
Unfortunately, this maximalist, pastiched approach is shared with all the tracks, making ‘Happy Rabbit’ far too derivative, despite its worthy touchstones.