Listening to Aloha’s latest album, Little Windows Cut Right Through, is a lot like listening to a 1980s playlist that only includes songs by Mr. Mister and Howard Jones. Aside from a few standout moments, the ten mostly tedious songs on the Cleveland, Ohio band’s seventh studio album (their first in six years) are delivered as if they were first dropped one by one into a blender set on purée so as to render them indistinguishable from one another before being poured directly into a patient fan’s unfortunate ear. Little Windows Cut Right Through plays more like a demo, offering up Aloha’s music to corporate entities eager to easily cut it up into mundane twenty to thirty second clips for use as boring background music for uninspired advertising.
Every track here sounds as if it was cribbed directly from a similarly styled song recorded and released between the years 1978 and 1985. Right out of the gate, the album’s first song, “Signal Drift”, finds the band sounding bored and uninspired, as if they’re just going through the motions for contractual reasons. “Moon Man” has some interesting lyrics that deal with fame and stage fright, but the song suffers a clumsy, misfit synth solo halfway in that derails any enjoyment derived from the track’s initial minutes. The rest of the songs on the album’s first half are no better.
Why the record’s strongest song “Marigold” (the only one with an appropriately brief yet fitting guitar solo) is buried two thirds into the record is anyone’s guess. The last of the songs may as well roll directly into one another without breaking as by this point who’s paying attention anyway? Little Windows Cut Right Through is a regrettable mess of an album where the bad far outweighs the good. The only optimistic prognostication may be that after this disaster Aloha can only deliver something better.