‘Reflections In the Dark’

Local eclectic rock band The Human Element release sophomore album

The Human Element played two sets during their album release party Jan. 25.

In celebration of their second full-length album, local rock band The Human Element partied with fans at The Aquarium Jan. 25.

The Human Element is a four-piece band comprised of Seth Holden on drums and vocals, Matt Johnson playing guitar and lead vocals, Brant Niemi on bass and Kari Marie behind the keyboard lending vocals as well.

“Reflections in the Dark” comes two years after the band’s debut “Forward Motion.” Johnson revealed the band is already writing their third album and even played a potential single at the party.

‘New Year’

It seems appropriate that a January release should open with a track entitled “New Year.” Heavy with Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR) vibes, the guitar riff is reminiscent of “Ramble Tamble” or The Black Crowes’ “Jealous.”

The song builds slowly, with the opening reaching its climax at almost a full minute in, easing you into the song and the album.

‘We Gotta Stand the Weather’

A song full of twain-y summer breezes, the sun shines bright with slide guitar overhead as the bass saunters down the gravel road. Keys sparkle through the leaves of cymbal washes. “We Gotta Stand the Weather” is a bluesy southern rock jam with the feel good quality of Tom Petty.

‘You Used to Love Me’

A soulful electric ballad similar to Sam Cooke’s “Bring it On Home to Me” with a Marvin Gaye flair, Johnson’s short phrasing lets Marie’s organ styling and Holden’s hi-hat washing to take center stage in his voice’s absence.

A song about reminiscing on the good times of a dead relationship, “You Used to Love Me” could hang in with any of the great soul ballads of the ’60s and ’70s.


The album closes out with a track layering acoustic and electric guitar. Johnson’s voice takes on the timbre of Gavin DeGraw with its soulful movement and fine grain blues grit, sanding the song smooth.

The acoustic guitar acts as a springboard for the smooth blues riffs of the electric as it flows through the track.

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