The sophomore effort from American Hi-Fi, “The Art of Losing” succeeds in re-capturing its existing fan-base, as well as reeling in those who possibly didn’t give the band a chance their first time around.
The title track, “The Art of Losing” is a stomp-your-feet, kick-and-scream, shout-it-out, pissed-off-at-the-world anthem of a song. It explores the philosophy of not traveling down the common path, “Fit the mold and do what you’re told, Get a job and start growing old, Nine to five to make your dreams come true, But I don’t want to be like you”. Who says that the model of mainstream life is the way to happiness? Clearly, this is not the way of these gents. Even before seeing the video, one can picture a crowd of screaming fans yelling these lyrics at the top of their lungs and jumping in unison.
“The Break Up Song” relays the bitterness of the past relationship. This classic rock tune says what we’ve all wanted to say at one point or another in our lives, ‘Go – be on your way, and give me all my stuff back!’ This song speaks to us. We’ve all been there. We’ve all thought these thoughts. We’re able to relate to each scenario depicted in the song. With “Beautiful Disaster” we see the relationship that you need to get out of, but that you keep going back to. Haven’t we all been here as well? This is the inevitable scenario that unfortunately seems just all too familiar yet again. American Hi-Fi has a way of tapping into all that makes us weak and drawing strength from it.
“Nothing Left to Lose” offers a solid and strong guitar – a staple of the American Hi-Fi experience. These guys have mastered the boy vs. girl drama that their audience responds to. “Teenage Alien Nation” obviously with the play on words within the title – offers another facet of growing up that we have all felt. “This Is the Sound” varies the tempo of the record by slowing it down a bit and displays the sincere gentleness delivered by Jones. “Happy” is the last song on the album and it is one of those songs that you just want to turn up so loud, so that when you are screaming the words at the top of your lungs – the stereo will still be louder than you. This is the essence of American Hi-Fi.
It is safe to say that radio programmers worldwide will have a hard time not deciding whether or not to play American Hi-Fi, but which single to play – as each and every song is ready to go. You’ll want to roll down your car windows and turn the volume up when listening to this record and cruising down the street. American Hi-Fi has the ability to reproduce all of the places where every one of us has been… we can relate to it…. we may not want to remember it all, but once we hear their depiction, we appreciate their interpretation. In a way, they are reaching their hand down to that kid who had been pushed and is face down on the pavement at recess and helping him back up. For this, we need to thank them.
With this CD, there is more bang for your buck, more flare to their fire. This is the attitude we have been waiting for from them, that we knew they had in them with their first record, but they hadn’t quite been freed yet. They are more aggressive and we get more insight into their punk and indie influences with this album. This record has an edgier sound and truly shows us what they are made of, what they are worthy of – great music.
As with most recent CD releases, this one offers fans an in-depth behind-the-scenes look at the making of “The Art of Losing” video – which was shot at the house of a fan in Hays, Kansas, the ultimate keg-party. This is one house party that you don’t want to miss. Point being: these guys are no losers.
Be sure to check out our photo section and show reviews for more goods on American Hi-Fi.