James Hunter – The Hard Way (CD)

James Hunter starts off “The Hard Way” with a brand sixties rock that has no direct contemporary influence. I could hear “The Hard Way” on the radio and be assured that the track is from over 40 years ago, that is how solidly Hunter is entrenched in that style. After that introductory track, “Tell Her” comes forth with a sound that follows pretty directly from “The Hard Way” but approaches things with a slightly slower tempo.

The slight soul style that is present, coupled with a call and response arrangement, keeps Hunter in that specific time frame while continuing to expand the realm of possible sounds and styles that Hunter can take on the next ten or so tracks on “The Hard Way”. Hunter goes back a few more years in influences to take on a blues type of influences for the vocal delivery; while still firmly ensconced in a fifties and sixties rock style, the look back to the earlier style adds a little pep to an already swinging type of CD. Of particular note during “Don’t Do Me No Favours” has to be the guitar solo, which strings together a formidable string of notes without coming forth as a shrill and annoying type of arrangement. “Carina” is an eclectic type of track, bringing forth styles and influences in a reggae, doo-wop, and island sound. Where “The Hard Way” was a track that could easily be mistaken for a classic song, “Carina” goes even further past that and could easily be taken for a period piece. I know that I am not typically a fan of the styles of music that James Hunter commits to disc during “The Hard Way”, but the fact that Hunter can bring forth so many different and previously forgotten styles to the fore should show the talent that ey brings to this album.

If you like any of the styles mentioned, or you like good music at all, “The Hard Way” should be an album that you pick up in the near future. With a number of single ready tracks, “The Hard Way” will give individuals nearly forty minutes worth of new and exciting (but old sounding) music. Keep an eye on Hunter and I am sure that, given a few years, it will only be a matter of time before eir stock raises considerably.

Top Tracks: Carina, Class Act
Rating: 8.1/10

James Hunter – The Hard Way / 2008 Hear / 12 Tracks / http://www.jameshuntermusic.com / http://www.hearmusic.com /

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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