WHO IS HE? Sacramento rap-rock weirdo Frank Lopes Jr., who went from sleeping in his car — which inspired his stage name — to a major-label deal within five years.
WHAT IS THIS? His third, finest and freakiest album — and the fittingly (if misleadingly) titled followup to his 2016 breakthrough The Rise of Hobo Johnson.
WHAT DOES IT SOUND LIKE? Not quite like anything you’ve ever heard before. Fuelled by Johnson’s manic pinballing energy, absurdly witty wordplay, cracked vocals and freewheeling songcraft that straddles the link between hip-hop, rock, pop and punk, these 12 tracks establish the 24-year-old oddball as one of the most fearlessly creative and daring artists in the game right now.
WHAT WOULD BE A BETTER TITLE FOR THIS ALBUM? Strange But True. And Truly Strange.
HOW SHOULD I LISTEN TO IT? Without doing anything else — all the better to focus on his nimble, rapid-fire delivery and captivatingly idiosyncratic, personal lyrics.
WHAT 10 WORDS DESCRIBE IT? Bizarre, neurotic, eccentric, lively, provocative, comical, compelling, self-deprecating, confessional, nerdy.
WHAT ARE THE BEST SONGS? Opening single Typical Story is anything but; Subaru Crosstrek XV is a love letter to his new car; You & the Cockroach spins a wild post-apocalyptic fable; Ode to Justin Bieber is surprisingly supportive — in its own way.
WHAT WILL MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY SAY? ‘This guy makes Eminem and Beastie Boys seem bland.’
HOW OFTEN WILL I LISTEN TO THIS? It’s way too abnormal — and way too addictive — to ignore.
IF THIS ALBUM WERE SOMEONE YOU WENT TO SCHOOL WITH, WHO WOULD IT BE? That kooky loner who never raised his hand or got picked for sports, but turned out to be some sort of savant with a genius IQ who became rich and successful.
SHOULD I BUY, STREAM OR STEAL IT? Really? You can’t afford to shoot a guy named Hobo a few bucks?