The Designer’s Drugs: Kristian Hoffman – Fop

Medium: Album

Stimulus: Kristian Hoffman – Fop

Anno: 2010


Kristian Hoffman’s senses of the grandiose and the absurd lend his music a wide, smart scope that often defies categorization.  Knowing that Hoffman’s extensive musical career includes a collaboration with Pee-Wee Herman and that he was one of the main songwriters behind opera alien Klaus Nomi provides as solid a starting point as can be grasped.

Fop’s largest constant, beyond clever lyricism, is its tracks’ tendency toward whimsical, almost childlike vaudeville stylings directed by piano.  Yet even this isn’t set in stone, as there are plenty of Bowie-style guitar rockouts and soft-spoken balladry to be found on Fop as well.  The best example of the latter is the opening track, the extravagant yet soft-spoken “Something New Is Born,” whereas the former is best represented by the sinister, string-accompanied “Mediocre Dream.”

Yet with the wealth of tracks on Fop – 17 songs in total, with not one feeling like a placeholder – the listener has the freedom to go in whatever direction one chooses.  Hoffman’s consistent inconsistency might have not worked out so well had he not possessed the witty technique to temper his offbeat sensibilities.  Fortunately, he runs at full speed with both.

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