blow up hollywood | The Diaries of Private Henry Hill

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Rock: Progressive Rock Avant Garde: Mixed Media Moods: Mood: Intellectual
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The Diaries of Private Henry Hill

by blow up hollywood

"The Diaries of Private Henry Hill" is the third studio release and fourth CD from blow up hollywood. This CD/DVD set are all songs based on the journals of a soldier who died in the Iraq war.
Genre: Rock: Progressive Rock
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  Song Share Time Download
1. The Pledge
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0:57 $0.99
2. WMD
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3:54 $0.99
3. Bombs Away
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1:38 $0.99
4. Charge
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3:36 $0.99
5. Shock and Awe
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8:57 $0.99
6. Puppet
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3:00 $0.99
7. Salvation
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5:41 $0.99
8. Shots Fired
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6:06 $0.99
9. Requiem
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5:59 $0.99
10. TDK
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1:00 $0.99
Available as MP3, MP3 320, and FLAC files.


Album Notes
Blow Up Hollywood's third studio album, "The Diaries of Private Henry Hill" is based on the journals of a young soldier who died tragically in the Iraq War. This concept album narrates a first-hand account of the transformation of a real man from citizen to soldier to killer to martyr.

The Diaries of Private Henry Hill is Blow Up Hollywood’s follow-up to the critically heralded 2004 album "Fake", for which Amplifier Magazine touted, “For fans of Radiohead, solo-Dave Gahan/Martin Gore, and Messrs Waters, Gilmore, Wright and Mason, Fake is the real deal.”

Founded in 2001, Blow Up Hollywood have built a tremendous following, especially impressive given their anonymous tendencies and strict independence. Selling their albums exclusively online, Blow Up Hollywood has sold over 25,000 units to date.

This critically acclaimed outfit compelled CMJ Magazine to state, “In name and art, this New York collective is a response to a culture that values style over substance.” Furthermore, according to The Village Voice, “[Blow Up Hollywood] mine a swooshy sort of ornateness that might be rooted in Pink Floyd, Radiohead, or Porcupine Tree: leaden emotion amid promising open spaces."

Blow Up Hollywood is the collaboration of nine New York musicians. They chose their moniker as a backlash to the excess of glitter marketing in media. Together the band creates a huge orchestral wall of sound with blissful string arrangements and poignant vocals making each track a requiem. As the All Music Guide described, “Like gray clouds hanging low on a fall Sunday afternoon, occasionally pierced by hopeful moments of sunshine that never seem to last, this music is downright overshadowing and all-consuming yet, in a subtle, gentle manner, somehow comforting.”

The band’s live show is a mixed media event incorporating self-produced films projected on giant screens while the band scores the movie live, almost secretly in the dark. A musical, cinematic and theatrical experience not to be missed.

A concept album built around the true-life diaries and letters of a young U.S. serviceman killed in Iraq, The Diaries of Private Henry Hill is one of those rare (too rare, considering how many of the things there are out there!) thematic offerings that is as impressive in execution as it was in conception. Blow Up Hollywood frontman Steve Messina first heard of Hill when the young man's bereaved father walked into the homeless shelter that he, Messina, was running. They talked, of course, of war and loss, but it was only when he was loaned the soldier's own writings that Messina comprehended the true nature — and horror — of the war. The result was a collection of songs and themes that neither support nor attack the conflict, but simply show it from the point of view of the people who are actually there: the only people, in fact, whose opinions on the rights and wrongs of the war actually matter. Musically, it is easy to compare Private Henry Hill with latter-day Pink Floyd, if they hadn't gone so horribly off-course with and after The Wall. Of course, the theme is one that is likewise dear to Roger Waters' heart, but more than that, the performance possesses that same sense of gut-wrenching drama that was the hallmark of Waters' most effective compositions. Lyrics are forthright and to the point, but they are also sparingly used — the album is at its best when the instrumental passages paint the pictures in your mind, with the occasional well-chosen sound effect to hammer home the precise time and place. Such comparisons, however, are also a cop-out — Private Henry Hill deserves to be viewed alone, heard in isolation, and appreciated within the nightmarish darkness of the shell-torn foxhole in which Henry Hill wrote his original words — and in which countless thousands of other, unknown Henry Hills are still writing their own. Thanks to the Internet, the Iraq War has already established itself as the most literate conflict the world has ever seen. More albums like Private Henry Hill could also see it become the most musical. - by Dave Thompson


to write a review

James Bartle

Incredible, a unique comment on todays world...
To travel through the thoughts of a soldier, accompanied by extrememly well produced, thoughtful music was a great concept for an album. As a Pink Floyd fan, I found alot of similarities and I hope I won't be alone in saying that we (like Floyd) will be listening to this LP for years to come. WMD, of course sold it to me at the first listen and as a commercial track is quite flawless... As I continued to listen however the album grew in other directions; catchy, soulful, experimental, thoughtful and downright tragic... Its subject matter would give George W. Bush himself chills. I hope it does. I look forward to more releases.

Patrick Donovan

Near Perfect
This is the second CD I have purchased by blow up hollywood and I'm not disappointed. "Fake" is awesome. This CD certainly is different but in a good way. All the songs are great. I like the saxophone addition. If you like Pink Floyd this is for you. Infact, blow up hollywood might be considered the new Pink Floyd of the 21st century.


The Diaries of Private Henry Hill
The Diaries of Private Henry Hill is positively the most inspiring and incomparable CD I have purchased this year. You cannot listen to this and not be moved emotionally... it is truly a spiritual experience - a masterful, emotional musical glimpse into the life and death of an American hero... soul touching and heart-aching when you know how the story ends in advance. This Superior work deserves much more attention then it has received, as do the fine artists that are Blow Up Hollywood.

Chris Deegan

One of the best CD's of the year. This band continues to release not only outstanding music but in the case of "The Diaries Of Private Henry Hill" one with an important message. The DVD is a great companion piece as well. For those of you new to this band check out their first release. Headphones recommended


This is a great record full of the glory and solitude that we all feel. Blow Up Hollywood never fails to impress. The songs are crafted with a cinematic sensibility that instantly ignites your senses. Steve's skill at painting an emotion with words and a melancoly vocal performance, is magical!


This is a great record full of the glory and solitude that we all feel. Blow Up Hollywood never fails to impress. The songs are crafted with a cinematic sensibility that instantly ignites your senses. Steve's skill at painting an emotion with words and a melancoly vocal performance, is magical!

Phil M

The Diaries of Private Henry Hill
Every year, just after Christmas, I put all the CDs I have bought during the year in a pile and sit in a dark room with no distractions where I play them all in order from sweet beginning to bitter end. I listen to it all; the good, the bad and the just plain indifferent. Then I pick the most noteworthy tracks and put together a compilation CD for a small number of close friends who I know will be appreciative and open to music they have never heard before to try and turn them on to new and unheard of bands.
I bought this album in March and knew from the second play that it would become part of my compilation for 2007. I heard of the band through a recommendation on a forum for the UK band Pineapple Thief. If you read this review hoping for an insight into what kind of music this is and for comparisons with other bands then I’m sorry to disappoint you. The best I can do is say that its part songs and part film score music, and contains some truly haunting instrumental work. Find the band’s MySpace page and have a listen. Then come back and buy the album. This is, quite simply, one of the best albums I’ve bought in 2007 and the best one by a band I hadn’t previously heard of.
And if cdbaby receives an order or two for this album from somewhere in the UK then my own CD might actually have achieved its aim ...

Autumn Rosette

A masterpiece!
A friend in the military had recommended that I purchase this CD, and it brought tears to my eyes the first time I listened to it. "The Diaries of Private Henry Hill" is an utterly brilliant account of war as seen through the eyes of a soldier. The music is intense and moving, and takes the listener on an emotional journey from the inital rush of fighting for a cause, to the lonliness and confusion that arise from being isolated from loved-ones, surrounded by despair. With this new release, the band has created a true piece of artwork that has made me fully appreciate the sacrifices made by our servicemen and women. This CD is a must-have for anyone who loves masterful writing. My personal favorite, "CHARGE" is absolutely phenomenal!

Frank McKelvey

Its so good you want to shout it to the world!!! AAAA ++++
I first saw the video WMD on Democracy Now.I was so impressed I looked up the band on google.I was able to listen to a few more songs, and was completly blown away by how good the songs were. I bought it immediatly.I have been listening to it for a few days now,the saxaphone playing is beautiful.The lyrics are thought of the best albums I have purchased this year.Its the kind of album you cant wait to tell your friends about.I am looking forward to more from this band.


War Vet speaking
I was one of the lucky ones who got to come home. I saw my friends die. So glad to see this music. FINALLY. Someone "gets" it.
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