REVIEWS

"Everybody Lies"

Excerpts from review on

“With their second album Everybody Lies, halovox brings the seductive sound of urban risk and venture.”

“Despite the heaviness of the actual music, the vocals are clear; every lyric is accessible. And the lyrics are steeped in cynicism: 'There’s a woman, I know you’ve seen her. Her favorite hobby is wrecking lives... He doesn’t stand a chance. She will leave him empty and wanting more. And the truth is that she just doesn’t care.' (“Miss Wrong”) As sardonic as the lyrics seem, they are sung without any real gloom or malice. The tone is so matter of fact, that it creates a hauntingly detached feel.”

“...halovox evens the gender scales with the ensuing track “Mr. Wrong,” which quickly drops a vicious beat. Seconds later, wildly different sounds are scattering through one’s ear, like particles in some rogue scientist’s atom smasher. 'Once you’re in my bed, I’ll whisper in your ear whatever you want to hear... Are you a model? Well, baby you should be.' These are deceptively profound lyrics that satirize those among us who view courtship as something akin to advertising copy, just reading off a list from some intangible, but instinctively understood, manual on how to get laid, and then scatter, galloping off to the next amorous adventure.”

“The album’s most intriguing track is “iGod”. Its lyrics address one of the most pressing questions of our modern world: Does technology do more harm than good? Here halovox has given a voice to those who perceive a spiritual barrenness in our ever-more-simulated days of rising technology.”

“Throughout the album, halovox has borrowed industrial echoes from a bygone era to create an ultra-modern, utterly urban aesthetic – intelligent, unpredictable, and dangerous.” - Ray Cavanaugh|Skope Magazine

Excerpts from review on

“This American independent artist returns with a fine album of strong, powerful synthpop.”

“Freda’s distinctive voice imposes itself onto proceedings making the music very much his own throughout…”

“…full of invention & infectious tracks & which marks Freda out as a gifted songwriter & performer.”

“The album sets its stall out straight away as the opening title track gets into its stride with its jaunty rhythms being complimented by strong sequencing as well as some excellent synth leads in the middle eight. It’s the sort of track you can’t help but get swept up in…”

“…it’s also tempting to wonder who inspired the lyrics to “Miss Wrong” which is another jaunty number that is delivered with something approaching a swagger.”

“Elsewhere, “Stalker” shows that he’s not afraid to get a bit creepy, as the mechanical backing & sassy melodics compliment the chilling lyrics…”

“The sweetly romantic “Always Around You” or the saucy “Grind” …makes its mark with some orgasmic groans with electronica-like rhythms that build towards an appropriately grinding chorus…”

“Another plus is the excellent “iGod” which makes some fine points on the whole social networking thing whilst having a superb chorus that sticks in your head long after it’s finished…”

“…while “We Are Alone” rounds things off on a downbeat but nicely reflective mood although the memorable big finish makes for a fitting climax to an excellent album that no synthpop lovers will want to miss.  (8/10 – Very good)” Carl Jenkinson|Hard Wired

 

"halovox"

halovox was prominently mentioned in The Aquarian on 01.12.05 as part of an article on the New York Synthpop Festival. Click here to read the article.

halovox was mentioned in The New York Daily News on 01.13.05 as part of an article on the New York Synthpop Festival. Click here to read the article.

Review from mp3.com
"halovox is a self-titled, synth-pop project cd created by a brave, intelligent, and independent hunk called, Frank Freda, formerly of Brand New Idol. When you visit the halovox webpage, the pictures of him show a strong and irresistibly attractive man dressed in black leather who appears ready to face the dark world that surrounds him.

In his album, Frank creates pure synth tracks while his intense voice modernizes 80's melodies in a futuristic style. The melodic tracks on this flawlessly produced electronic album reviews love and fears of a troubled relationship as the base and synth rhythms pulsate awakening vibrations into the listener's heart. I believe Frank wanted to make sure that you listen to his song's message and he succeeds in doing this in a very strong and emotional manner.

You learn a lesson about life's values in every song as the music interacts with your feelings. Although Halovox does sound similar to Depeche Mode, he still manages to reveal his individualized musical abilities as an artist. So, you are not going to put Frank's cd down if you are a Dave Gahan fan. In fact, Frank does a marvelous job covering Depeche Mode's "Fly on the Windscreen" song that reminds us of the fragility of human life. Some songs that strike my interest in the cd are "Just Like Me", a happy song about telling someone they are fools for being deceitful towards a lover they can never have because they deserve someone as selfish as they are. "Save Yourself" tells a person to not worry about another person's life but worry of one's self.

Now, if someone could just advertise Frank's face on a couple of billboards I am sure he will become famous in no time and given the proper recognition he deserves." - deejaynimpress

Review from Amazon.com
"Devastatingly hypnotic electronica. Thanks to Jayson Levine's thorough and concise review, plus added background to this wonderful cd by halovox. I was actually working on my job when in transit I found myself furiously scanning the radio for something decent to hear, when I came across "Deception" towards the last minute being played. It was loud, awesome, sounded like dance house Depeche Mode, and it had a beat. The radio announcer was good enough to elaborate on the group's name and genre of electronica. Although by the time I had gotten home, I had forgotten the name and could only think of the 80s group Blackbox. So I searched the web for electronica groups with recent hits, and came across halovox. No other group name came close, so after searching some more, I came to Amazon and found this cd. It had "Deception", ordered it, got it within two weeks, and glad to say it fits high on the scale of any electronic wizardry scale of any of my music catalog finds since disco, and new wave eras.

This group could easily pass as Depeche Mode, and although the cd rocks, it also varies. Some songs are so melodic and melancholy (like "Silent Whispers (Forever Mix)", it defies categorization. Just think of Vangelis meets Depeche Mode! (5 stars)" - Robert

Excerpts from review published in Industrial Nation #21
"halovox, hailing from the NYC area, delivers their first 14 track full-length of infectious, dancefloor friendly synthpop songs highlighted by singer Frank Freda's earnest singing and lyrics, some of which have already found their way onto area DJ playlists. Check out their powerful and danceable cover version of 'Fly On The Windscreen'. For fans of: Depeche Mode, Melotron, De/Vision. Best tracks: 'Make Me Yours', 'Deception'. Rating - Essential." - Cage23|Industrial Nation

Excerpts from review on The Muse's Muse
"The disc is thoroughly enjoyable, even though I can't really perceive of anything groundbreaking here. I genuinely felt how confidently & convincingly these tunes come to life with Frank's guidance. The voice is strong & true and the grooves will get you moving. That's what it's all about."

"As well, they do change the pace a couple times, and even the rest of the tunes each have a great sense of identity behind the beat. The 14 songs in fact play like they would at the dance club, speeding up and slowing down at regular intervals. Right in the middle, they handle the one cover on the disc - that of Depeche Mode's 'Fly On The Windscreen' - and although it's almost identical to the original, halovox comes out slightly ahead with a punchier version."

"Throughout, Frank's voice is branding these songs, just as groups like Depeche Mode and Pet Shop Boys have done in the past. We haven't had a group like them for a while. A little more musical experimentation and halovox could creep into the void." - Steve Allat|The Muse's Muse

Excerpts from review on Escape From Noise
"The biggest unifying factor is Frank's voice, an impressively resonant baritone that's at its best when singing balls-out. Frank Freda is easily in the upper echelon of current electropop singers."

"'Deception' is an early high point, a compelling dance number with one of the better melodic hooks in attendance. 'Worthy' is one of the bigger surprises, a downtempo ballad featuring Frank's voice at its most mellow. A bigger surprise is that the lyrics work really really well. In the past a song like this would find itself mated to painfully trite lyrics, but this song deftly dodges that trap. 'Retrospect' is another winner, a mid-tempo grinder capping an excellent trifecta of tracks."

"The second half of the album continues a string of solid songs - the simmering 'Waiting, Watching, Wanting' and nice dance tracks in 'Just Like Me' and 'Insecurity'."

"Wrapping up the album are another pair of very strong songs, 'Fresh Out' and 'Disintegration'."

"halovox is a good solo effort for Frank. It's clear that he's progressed musically since his association with Brand New Idol, especially in the lyric department, and BNI fans will be immediately pleased with it."

Songwriting skills: 6.5 (always solid, occasionally addictive)
Recording quality: 8.0 (excellent with just some patchy stridency)
Freshness: 6.0 (ahead of the curve in the current electropop batch)
Vocals: 9.0 (Frank's one of the best)
Lyrics: 6.5 (greatly improved over past efforts)
X-Factor: 5.0 (solid but not genre-redefinining)

Overall score 6.83 - David Vesel|Escape From Noise

Review from CD Baby
"A promising synth CD for many moods. halovox brings to its scene a well-put-together mix of everything from danceable, upbeat songs to the more melancholic, brooding ballads. halovox is the brainchild of Frank J. Freda, who has seen his development through various associations with different acts, i.e. Stripped, Deep Freeze, and Brand New Idol. With each endeavor, Frank's creativity with and command over the language that is music, expressed through electronica, has clearly improved to a point where, now, his solo release is sure to delight virtually anyone who has had the privilege of listening to his evolution. I have long awaited a solo CD from Frank, as earlier efforts involved more cover work and persuasion from people who otherwise detracted from Frank's path of influence. halovox's debut CD will not disappoint those who long for the flavor of the memorable 1980's, when electronica was making its way in its own circles. His revisiting his 80's influences is truly a tribute to those who made synthpop just what it is today to so many people. (Five stars)" - Jayson Levine

Review from CD Baby
"Pulsating beats and tremendous lead vocal. A winning mix that will keep you stuck with this only cd for hours and hours. I sincerely hope there will be more to come from such a promising act. Influences are obvioulsy mainly coming from depeche mode, camouflage, de/vision and sometimes like pet shop boys and erasure especially in slow songs with heavier synth sounds. (Five stars)" - fab_thefab

Review from CD Baby
"Haunting vocals with beautiful melodies. Thanks to FlashbackAlternatives.com for turning me onto this disc! This is a must have for any fan of synth pop in the style of Depeche Mode, Xymox, Lords of the New Church, etc. You can't go wrong on this one! (Four stars)" - Kevin

Excerpts from review on Hard Wired
"halovox allows Freda to show off the full range of his substantial songwriting skills & it's this, along with the edgier sound that grace a number of the 14 tracks to be found here & a nicely solid, beefy production, that keeps interest high throughout the 70 minute duration."

"This is no mean feat for an essentially commercial synthpop artist although Freda helps his cause immensely by adopting an edgier, slightly gutsier sound which makes its mark immediately on the opening double header of 'Make Me Yours' & 'Deception' (the latter track further benefitting from some memorable synthleads) as well as 'Retrospect' & the rhythmically busy 'Save Yourself', all of which make for a most impressive first half although, for me, it's when this harder side is given free reign, as on 'Foolish Slave', that brings out the best in his music."

"Freda is a most talented artist & halovox is a name we're all going to be hearing a lot from on the future (8/10 - Very good)" - Carl Jenkinson|Hard Wired

Excerpts from review on Chain D.L.K.
"The singing is strong and brings out the emotional tense and the production is very good."

"halovox is to lookout for and will soon breakout with new fans all over the world (4.5 out of 5 stars)" - Donovan Tate|Chain D.L.K.

Excerpts from review on Synthpop.ru (translated from Russian)
"This album starts off with a marvelous feel of freedom, unchained ideas and soaring uniqueness."

"Slick quality of the intentions resulted in the diligent songs of diverse technologies, moods and rhythms. Two or three (without particular titles) of the songs could be definitely battling the best compositions of, say, Cause & Effect or Neuropa, and found their personal place under the synthpop sun." - Synthez Observer|Synthpop.ru

Excerpts from review on WMUC
"Another Depeche Mode-like electropop act to add to your dancefloor repertoire. The songs are erotic, and well produced with catchy synth-backup vocals and oh-so-danceable electro-disco-beat drum machine sequences. The melodic vocals are well delivered and full of the poetic campy romance one expects from the genre. An admirable album recommended for those that just can't get enough of the likes of Fictional, Iris, or Neuropa. Good songs: 1,4,7,11,14" - Alex, RPM Director/WMUC University of Maryland

Excerpts from review on ReGen Magazine
"halovox offers some very decent minimalist synthpop filtered through a few retro-industrial affectations. The songs are reminiscent of the '80s, while having a few of the modern touches that many of the European synthpop acts employ."

"'Make Me Yours' stands up well against most of the EBM/futurepop dance floor fodder that comes down the pike these days. It could easily win over the Seabound and Beborn Beton fans, as well as being very pleasing to the old school Depeche Mode fetishists. 'Just Like Me' follows in the same vein. 'Foolish Slave' combines more hard samples and sounds to bring a more energetic and less pop edge to the album, giving it some variety."

"The tracks are all very good..." - ReGen Magazine

Excerpts from review on TV TranZmission
"Opening track 'Make Me Yours' has a great shot at dance floor play. A good bass line, laid with a great synth structure. The lyrics fit right into the sound perfectly, not aggressive but full of aggressive passion."

"Track two 'Deception' caught my attention with the lyrics, again a good bass line and lots of passion in the sound structure. It's the lyrics on this track that makes the song."

"'Save Yourself' I think is my favorite the lyrics are GREAT, telling whomever where to get off. The sound is very filling not a driving bass line but soundscapes, loops keep your ears interested."

"Frank has major talent and his writing is very strong and passionate. The production, mastering and overall cd is excellent..." - TV TranZmission

Excerpts from review on Gothic Paradise
"Fans looking for some new solid synthpop will enjoy this album. Those that have really enjoyed Depeche Mode and similar bands should get a hold of the work by this artist."

"Frank's smooth vocals mix well with the music, moving along well with the dance-friendly music..."

"'Awkward Silence' really brings the dreamy, dark and sullen elements as it gradually grows and lilts along with the soft deep vocals layered over the wistful electronics."

"This is a great debut album and provides a nice foundation for halovox to build upon. It flows well and has a good variety while staying true to the genre and influences."

"...a stellar album moving through dance-friendly tracks and breaking for the dreamy ballads in between. (4 out of 5)" - Jacob Bogedahl/Gothic Paradise

Excerpts from review on Connexion Bizarre
"The debut album of halovox is a strong showing in the world of generic synthpop."

"halovox is worth checking out simply because it is good music."

"All in all, halovox delivers. (6 out of 10)" - Crippled.Hope|Connexion Bizarre

Excerpts from review on Synthpop.NET
"I am very impressed with this album. I really love the new mix of 'Silent Whispers' that closes the album. But, I've loved that song from the first time I heard it, and I've yet to hear a version I don't like."

"Other songs I found particularly outstanding were 'Worthy', the very DM-esque 'Foolish Slave', 'Waiting, Watching, Wanting', 'Just Like Me', and the awesome ballad 'Awkward Silence'. The cover of 'Fly On The Windscreen' is a unusual choice as to a DM track to cover, but it's pulled off really well."

"A collection of very impressive songs... (4.5 Stars out of 5)" - Jason Baker|Synthpop.NET

Excerpts from review on Grave Concerns
"...draws from a range of influences to form a solid club-friendly synthpop framework for the album's blend of catchy hooks and moody ambience."

"Top club-friendly cuts include 'Make Me Yours', 'Retrospect', and 'Just Like Me'; all three are extremely infectious slices of classic synthpop."

"Overall, halovox's self-titled debut is a well-written and well-produced album that walks the line between retro and modern for an offering that's likely to please a wide range of synthpop fans."- Joshua Heinrich|Grave Concerns Read the full review by clicking here.

2004 halovox promo CD

"New Jersey new wave group halovox combines modern electronic textures with a blackish blend of industrial and dark wave that goes back to the roots of the '80s U.S./U.K. sound. Depeche Mode-like electronic rhythms are mixed over melancholic vibes of solitude." - Download.com Music Editors

"The sound quality is excellent, and Frank's vocals are just as perfect as always. All four songs are really excellent, but 'Retrospect' is my favorite so far.. but that changes every time I listen to the disc.. This is a very promising set of songs, and I think the synthpop world is in for a very special treat when halovox's debut album is released in June! (4.5 Stars out of 5)" - Jason Baker|Synthpop.NET

"halovox layers catchy beats and electro-spectacular patterns which seem to meld right into Frank’s smooth voice. 'Retrospect' & 'Deception' have become instant dance floor favorites. While 'Disintegration' and 'Fresh Out' seductively grab hold of your heart and tug you into the magical world of synthpop ballads. (5 Top Hats - highest rating)" - Rev. Jayme|Culture Asylum Magazine

 

The Echoing Green - "Fall Awake" (Catcher In The Rye Mix by halovox)

"The Virtual Server and 'Catcher In The Rye' (by halovox) mixes are my favorite of the lot, as they retain the overall structure and melody of the song." - Jason Baker|Synthpop.NET

"halovox, on the other hand, have turned in the strongest remix (Catcher In The Rye Mix), by trying to reflect this same sonic dichotomy that the original version had while putting their own twist on it." - Daniel Aeschliman|The Collector's Bin

 

Simulator - "Enter The Unknown"

"A few of the vocal tracks appear as both instrumental & vocal versions, including the superb 'Revelation' where Frank J.Freda of Brand New Idol adds deep & tuneful vocals to the instantly attractive melody that sits atop the lively techno rhythms of the instrumental version." - Carl Jenkinson|RE/VOLT

"The vocals are great, and flow well with the music, especially in 'The Ghost of You'." - Julie Johnson|Grave Concerns

"The now smoother 'Revelation (Epiphany Mix)' brings back Freda with his last and most convincing interpretation." - Jode|Electroage Music

"Frank Freda of Brand New Idol is the guest vocalist for 'Divided', 'The Ghost Of You'and 'Revelation (Epiphany Mix)', while Rachel Cicci contributes vocals on 'Regression (Lunavox Mix)'. These vocalists do add an even more memorable edge to the tracks they contribute to, but the other 8 tracks are conclusive proof that vocals aren't a requirement to make catchy synthetic pop music." - Jason Baker|Synthpop.NET

"Other than by name and a couple of tracks on their website I’m not over familiar with the work and releases of Brand New Idol. But their vocalist Frank J. Freda appears on two tracks here while also writing the lyrics for both the tracks. Both are excellent especially ‘The Ghost Of You’ while both tracks through the inclusion of the vocals add something different to the album itself." - Danny King|The Electrogarden Network

 

Brand New Idol - "Still Beautiful Falling Apart"

"Overall, this is a really wonderful & promising debut album. Highly recommended!" - Jason Baker|Synthpop.NET

"The album opens up with 'Never Again', which is interesting, because it is a slow tempo, minimal ballad of sorts that really should be placed somewhere beyond half way through the album, but it does set up for the songs that follow if the listener digs the sound right off. Frank's vocals work well in bringing this track to fruition." - Centurion|The Electrogarden Network