In the 90's, rock was really evolving. From the hard rock and grunge movement from the early 90's to the nu-metal scene that carried through the early 00's, the 90's set many precedents. These couldn't be possible without a and responsible at the helm. There's one band to thank for many artists that followed them: Hum. Their garage rock sound mixed with a unique atmosphere opened a new door for rock. Hum brought new atmosphere to alternative rock in You'd Prefer An Astronaut.
Perhaps the most iconic album to really show the influence of Hum on rock is Deftones' White Pony. The album had its nu-metal / alternative metal overtones, with a familiar crunchy, garage undertone constantly making its way out. That comes straight from Hum, and you hear it a lot on You'd Prefer An Astronaut. It's really part of the album's aesthetic, coming out a lot throughout. From the very start, you hear the huge atmosphere of the guitars in 'Little Dipper,' enveloping you almost immediately. The acoustic textures of 'The Pod' follow through, and even if that may sound more sweet, it's an angrier track by far. 'Stars' gets heavier but captures that 90's rock sound perfectly with their signature atmospheric sound thrown in there, too.
You'd Prefer An Astronaut really captures the sound of 90's rock. It came out in 1995, the mid-way between the decade. At the time, sounds were evolving. There was no single standard or trend. There was space to grow. Hum used that to their advantage and didn't worry about what was ahead. Their iconic sound comes out in the dreary but faraway closing track 'Songs Of Farewell and Departure,' while 'I Hate It Too' spirals out of control into a massive end. There's heaviness and there's peace, and everything in between. You'd Prefer An Astronaut is an album that really grabs from the soul and lets it out, becoming 90's in sound and of essence.
Hum brought new atmosphere to alternative rock in You'd Prefer An Astronaut, not abiding by any norms and completely making their own sound as they wanted to. They travel through thoughts of anger and thoughts of peace, not trying to hold back on anything. It may not be a wildly popular album, but it's a definitive one nonetheless.
Favorite Tracks: Stars, I Hate It Too
Least Favorite Track: Songs Of Farewell and Departure
Rating: 77 / 100
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