Deaf Havana – Rituals

Modern rockers Deaf Havana recently released their latest album, titled Rituals. As with many a band nowadays, the group seem to have traded their normal rock stylings in for a more poppy sound, with the big question on everyone’s lips being ‘is it any good?’
Well, sort of.

By Jane Howkins

Rituals as a whole is a huge departure from their previous work, and whilst they’ve slowly been going this way for a while, the band have finally walked the plank and stepped into the pop deep end for good. We’re not against pop music if it’s done well, but that’s the main problem here – it really isn’t that great, with ‘bland’ being the name of the game here. Deaf Havana have always had a poppy feel to their tracks, but the passion and energy seems to be largely gone, replaced instead by chart hooks and melodies that aren’t actually very catchy after all.
There are some good tracks here, but they’re few and far between, and fans of the band’s older music may well find themselves put off for the most part. One good thing about this is that we can certainly see Deaf Havana gaining a whole legion of new fans due to the added accessibility of their current music, but it’s questionable whether that’s a worthy price to pay for such a fall from grace. One thing we did like was the addition of a choir on several tracks, but the ultra clean production means that anything remotely different or edgy is faded out, in favour of the generic.
That’s really one of biggest issues here – Rituals isn’t a bad album per se, and there are tracks on here that we feel older fans may grow to love if given the chance. The problem is it just feels kinda half-hearted and it’s ever so bland – if they’re going to produce pop music, then Deaf Havana could at least have made sure there were some good hooks in there. Here’s hoping this is just something they needed to get out of their systems before returning to their usual stuff – although if current trends are anything to go by, that’s probably not going to be the case.