The first album from Ville Valo since the end of HIM is Neon Noir which was released in January.
Unsurprisingly it is an incredible album. From opener Echolocate Your Love with its smooth as silk vocals, intricate lyrics and upbeat instrumentation right through to closing track Vertigo Eyes which comes in at almost eight minutes long. Run Away From the Sun is catchy and definitely an earworm.
Loveletting talks about heartbeats being out of sync with each other in such a smooth way. Baby Lacrimarium had me turning to Google to question what a lacrimarium is (it’s a small Roman tear glass if you’re wondering) but it’s a really good song.
In Trenodia is a stunning piece of music and one of my favourites on the record. Heartful of Ghosts has some of my favourite vocals by Ville. They’re so sultry.
Zener Solitaire is just over two minutes of synths and soft ‘aaaahs’ which builds in intensity before fading out.
At the start of the review I mentioned that closer Vertigo Eyes is almost eight minutes long. Is that too long? Usually I would say yes it is, however, this is Ville Valo we are talking about and as a long-time fan I can never get enough of his vocals so no it’s not too long. But in an unbiased view, the track is lovely. It’s calming and changes it up enough that the song wouldn’t get stale, an example of this is the solo around three and a half minutes in which gives a brief moment of a pop rocky feel before going back to the more melancholic sounding instrumentation.
Neon Noir is very Ville Valo. It has everything that you would expect if you’ve even just heard HIM’s biggest hits but why change the format that has brought you so much success. It does have some differences when compared to HIM of course, it brings Ville’s more poppy sound out that was hinted at on his previous solo material. His silky smooth vocals are very soothing and almost hypnotic and the instrumentation throughout is fantastic. Neon Noir is an incredible album that I can’t get enough of.