[7 August 2006]
PopMatters Associate Music Editor
Unfortunately, Hopelessly… falls into the category of records that don’t come close to being as good as their titles. The ideas are all good ones: Take the Flaming Lips’/Mercury Rev’s/Wilco’s modern prog, complete with sprawling arrangements, classic psychedelic twists, and stop-on-a-dime time changes. Add mariachi trumpet and that Suptertramp electric piano. Stir. The knock on prog was always that it came up short on melody, and that’s the case here as well—which wouldn’t be such a big deal if Gilbert Alfaro’s thinner-than-thin, flatter-than-flat voice didn’t sap the energy from the otherwise intriguing music. By the time the Orange bust out the wah-wah pedals on the groovy, Steely Dan-ish “I Kid You Not”, you may have already moved on to another color.