After parting ways with Hollywood Records earlier this year, Honor Society proved they don’t need a label to release an incredible album. The pop-rock band’s new record, “A Tale of Risky Business Part 2,” has a more mature sound, and their talent and musicality exudes from the interludes and lyrics.
It follows their debut album, “Fashionably Late,” which was dominated by a funky pop-rock sound. “Risky Business Part 2,” however, is a mesh of funkier pop-rock, R&B and hip hop.
It kicks off with an eerie yet romantic setup. The prologue, “M.I.A.,” really sets the mood for the album by providing warmth with the laughter and voices in the background of the beautiful piano melody. As the voices and music die down, the first chords of “Living a Lie” strike. The guitar riffs and lead singer Michael Bruno’s raw vocals on this track are reminiscent of “Fashionably Late.”
The radio-friendly track is a slap in the face to whoever screwed them over with lyrics like “You think you’re so slick/Did you think I wouldn’t find out?”
The subsequent interlude, “Such a Lovely Life,” slows things down. Unlike the last track, it sets an optimistic mood with a simple melody, telling listeners “it’s such a lovely life.”
Drummer Alexander Noyes and keyboardist Jason Rosen dominate the next track, “Gentleman After Dark.” The duo complements the song’s laid-back beat and sensual lyrics. “You text me all your pictures girl/But tonight I want to feel it,” Bruno says. The harmonies at the end of the song make this track one of the highlights of the album.
The subsequent interlude, “Central Park,” shines with the lyrics, “You were always the girl,” from Honor Society’s past hit “See U In The Dark.” Adding old lyrics to their new sound makes their growth as musicians and a band evident. The track ends with the waves crashing against the shore, leading into “One of a Kind,” a song reminiscent of Jason Mraz’s style.
“Speak Easy,” marked as the album’s intermission, perfectly splits the album in half. The track’s tranquility is led by a piano melody that demonstrates Honor Society’s talent and musicality. It’s a great divide between “One of a Kind” and “What’s It Gonna Be,” which has the catchiest guitar riffs in existence. Here’s where the funkier pop-rock sound comes in.
Coins fall at the start of “Redundancies,” the interlude that follows. The guitar riffs that flawlessly lead into the next song make it one of the best transitions on the album. The next song, “Run For Your Money,” was incredible live during Honor Society’s Wherever You Are Tour this past summer; the track is just as good on the album.
The next two songs make the album flawless. “This Bed Is An Ocean” will give fans chills. It’s a great rendition of an unrecorded track and, like “Central Park,” it shows how their sound has grown from past albums. The interlude leads into “Wherever You Are,” which defines where the band is right now. It leans toward a hip-hop sound, which is relatively new to their music; it should definitely be considered as a single.
The album’s epilogue, “Find You In The Dark,” and the bonus track, “Hurricane,” end the record with new, yet familiar sounds. The epilogue’s lyrics are some of the most moving on the album: “What we are is a bag of bones/Following that spark/Don’t let go/I’ll find you in the dark.” Musically, it picks up where the prologue left off. It’s followed by “Hurricane,” in which the sound is similar to that of “Fashionably Late.”
The only thing that could possibly make “A Tale of Risky Business Part 2” a better album would be releasing it on vinyl.