Hippo Campus 'Bambi' (Album Review)

Oscar Rendon | November 1st, 2018


The men with groovy tunes and catchy lyrics present their second LP ‘Bambi’. Hippo Campus have been traveling and writing new material for what some claim is a major departure from ‘Landmark’ their debut album. Hippo Campus is comprised of Jake Luppen (Vocals, Guitar), Nathan Stocker (Guitar, Vocals), Zach Sutton (Bass), Whistler Allen (Drums) & DeCarlo Jackson (Trumpet). Recently the band stopped at The Pageant in St. Louis, for more on that go tour ‘Concerts’ page to read all about it and ‘Gallery’ to see photos from the show.

The first track from the the album is “Mistakes” which starts slowly and with atmospheric intro. Jake Luppen’s voice is heard as a chorus or echo of voices sing along. It serves as a precursor or prologue to what the rest of the vibe is going to be for the new album. “Anxious” begins almost instantly and we get a very electro tune as Luppen sings before a drop and the song is injected with a guitar rhythm. A lot of voice manipulation for this song, the sound of this a big departure from anything on ‘Landmark’. There are huge moments in the song that give us what we have come to know and love from the band when drums and a more rock sound is layered on top of the electro-beat. Lyrically it remains as smart and clever as any of Luppen’s previous writings. “Doubt” a favorite of ours is the third song of the album, again another sampling of electronic rhythms layered with the bass and guitar but this time the sound is more upbeat and quirky to the previous song. The song is great love song and even the lyrics hook you to the beat especially with the great and airy chorus. It feels like a nice breath to take.

“Love, is it love?
We got trouble keeping up
Who can say you're the one
And never doubt it”


“Doubt” plays right into “Bambi” the title track. Just like most of the album, the band experiments with sounds and we get a very jazzy and electro layer that plays as Luppen begins to sing. The song is the most lyrically driven, supported by the groovy track behind it and the band playing. “Bambi” is a masterful song that gets you swaying and having an out of body experience. “Why Even Try” has the closest sound to previous Hippo Campus songs from previous EP’s and their debut album. Heavy guitars and layered with Luppen’s smooth like butter voice. “Think It Over” takes it’s time and slows it down a bit, becoming Bambi’s ballad of sorts. The echoing lyrics are haunting and stick with you. “Bubbles” has a nice rhythmic intro as Luppen sings to the beat. “Bubbles” is another song that slows it down a bit. You really feel the atmosphere around you when you listen to the song with your eyes closed. “Honestly” has a great beat that gets you moving and bobbing your head, a great drum truck that picks up the song and gives it energy. “Golden” picks up the beat with catchy lyrics and the hook that is the perfect pick me up before the last song on the album. The band does a great job transitioning the tones and sounds of each song on the album which leads to the finale “Passenger”. “Passenger” has it all, the ballad feel, the slow beat, piano and Jake’s angelic voice that give it it a nice end.

To say that Hippo Campus are a unique band with smart, beautiful, and masterful lyrics, on top of that each sound from each member of the band add a stamp of personality that just gives off an incredible listening experience to the album. You can listen to this album all the way through walking busy downtown streets, hiking through a forest or in the dark as you’re about to fall asleep. Hippo Campus’ Bambi is truly the best compilation of songs in one album in recent years.

The Grade