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Synth Album Review: "Star Child" by HeartBeatHero

Karl loves food, writing, and writing about food. He has been doing so for over 10 years!

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Overall Album Impressions

HeartBeatHero’s Star Child combines intricately entangled synths, beautiful melodies, and mingled emotions to create a heartfelt and emotive musical journey. HeartBeatHero has poured his emotional soul into this album and the end result makes that abundantly clear.

There’s a detail and a depth to the synth interactions on Star Child that imbues the album with layers of uniquely interwoven sound that combine into a lush whole. HeartBeatHero balances sharp and smooth sounds, integrating different timbres and textures to delineate emotional states. The album showcases his ability to choose and combine synths in intriguing ways.

The melodies on Star Child have a strong emotional heart. They are clear and expressive as they unfold. Many of them have a heart-tugging feeling that is tender and yearning, but they are balanced with moments of energetic uplift. As a whole, the melodic writing reaches out and forms strong impressions on my ears. I am drawn to the way they make me feel.

The complexity of feeling on this album mirrors HeartBeatHero’s personal journey that inspired it. The music explores the conflicting, complicated and staggeringly deep range of human emotion. I got the sense that HeartBeatHero dug deep and poured his feelings out into the music. As a result, I feel better able to engage with it.

My Favourite Tracks Analyzed

Star Child opens with resonant, luscious bass that flows along with distantly drifting, cosmic notes that float out into the track’s open spaces. The musical background’s creamy richness is permeated by breathy, delicate panpipe synth as the extended bass rumble drifts. Round, gleaming synth sails out in melodic patterns that flash and fade into the wide open spaces around them.

The solid throb of the drums and bass forms a gliding current underneath the flashing, shining elevated synth as it flickers in slowly unfolding lines. There’s an airy rush of sound as the bass oscillates and the drums pulse. Fragile, floating chimes shimmer in ethereal voice as a full, flowing and bright synth moves in soothing notes that extend their gentle tendrils through the music.

Shining synth sings out a melody that touches me with its affectionate, peaceful emotion over the solid drum and bass heartbeat. The melody reaches forward and enfolds the listener in a tide of heartfelt feelings as delicate, slowly expanding synth notes flow along and out into quiet.

Initially "Synthwave Afterlife” has a haunted feeling but bursting, brassy synth ramps up the energy levels into a charging rush. The gleaming synth carries darkly triumphant notes over the massive drive and throb of dense bass and gigantic drums that underpin it.

There’s a hard-edged synth surge that growls beneath the leaping, brassy notes that sweep in magisterial lines over the weight far below them. A cleaner, glittering synth plays slowly unfolding arpeggios that coalesce into a spinning pattern with small accented notes leaping up to enhance their energy.

Huge drums throb in the distance and the brassy, flashing synth leaps in a dynamic melodic pattern. Synthesized choral voices add a pleasing reverence over the weighty drum. A yearning synth with its flashing glow glides along with the brassy synth calling out before silence falls.

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"Fading Love” commences as the cavernous auditory space is filled by a quickly whirling, rapidly expanding series of glittering arpeggios that dance out above cosmic bass rumbling far below. The medium-high, tensely bursting lead synth flashes in metallic notes while galactic tones out in gleam into the openness.

I am drawn to the starry shine that moves above dense of bass and the drumbeat’s shaping influence. Medium-high, rough-edged synth has an intense sheen as it floats in mournful notes that continue on into the music’s depths as a fragile, choral voice subtly moves and repeats quickly.

Arpeggios add more shape as they spin and tense synth wavers and trembles through the massive soundstage. Ethereal synths gleam and arpeggios wash in undulating, lost feeling lines out into rushing space.

Monumentally growling, sweeping bass expands through the low end of “Synthwave Memory” as it kicks off. A string-lime sound tangles and skitters in the background while the guttural weight below swells. Medium-high, shimmering synth carries a feather-light, warm melodic pattern into the music. There’s a nostalgic ache in the melody, mingling gentleness and a sense of loss to touch my heart.

Now bright, whirling arpeggios flicker and drums add throbbing direction. Air sweeps in the background along with the mistily entangled arpeggios cut by flashing sunlight while soft drums guide the music. The rough bass edges add texture and the arcing arpeggios have a metallic sheen to them as they flow in the distance. Motes of synth light undulate in fragile lines over the gliding flow.

Drums and bass push the music forward again over the subtle drumbeat and the eternally dancing arpeggios. Waves of shining synth intertwine and move with the drum and bass pulsation. A breath of wind sweeps through and brings the track to a conclusion.

“Rising to the Spirit World” begins as angular synth cuts in and a rounder, smoother synth sound floats behind it into wide open space. Sharper synth contrasting with a medium-high, flashing synth that drifts in longer notes as the razor-edged sound echoes out below it.

Hard-hitting, colossal drums and bass support a vocal-sounding, repeating pulse that has a hypnotic quality to it. I enjoy the balance HeartbeatHero achieves as rich, smooth synths trail through in contrast to the angular elements. A cymbal hisses as gigantic heave of muscled bass and drums moves as sharper synth slashes.

The track breaks into an expanding ripple of digital-sounding synth that is punctuated by flaring notes. Again the chanting synth is driven by the solidity of surging drums and bass and the angled edges of the synth that repeats before we fade on the rippling synth and open space.

The sound of birds, flowing synth with a diaphanous quality and circular, glowing synth notes accompany a reassuring vocal sample as “Push On” opens. A slightly stuttering drumbeat and HeartBeatHero’s smooth vocals come in as a sweeping synth flickers and fades. HeartbeatHero adds deep emotion to his vocals as a tightly wound, medium-high synth carries a trembling melodic pattern.

The lyrics tell us to “push on and keep on trying” because there’s no use to keep crying. The words talk about keeping on smiling “even though my hands are shaking.” In the chorus, the mantra “keep on, never give up” repeats. Lush synth lifts above the chorus in a softly touching arpeggiation, full of tender emotion.

I find this song uplifting and emotive all at once. In the distance, feathery synth trails light tendrils and round synth is joined by the propulsive drumbeat. String-like synth carries the tremulous melody over the arpeggiation underneath it. Trickling synth echoes over the vocals and upwelling bass before it all fades.

Conclusion

Star Child explores the vagaries and triumphs of human emotion through a synth-based prism. HeartBeatHero combines his musical abilities with a palpable expression of his personal emotions to create an auditory diary that I find strongly compelling.

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