James Hunter starts off â€œThe Hard Wayâ€ with a brand sixties rock that has no direct contemporary influence. I could hear â€œThe Hard Wayâ€ 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, â€œTell Herâ€ comes forth with a sound that follows pretty directly from â€œThe Hard Wayâ€ 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 â€œThe Hard Wayâ€. 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 â€œDonâ€™t Do Me No Favoursâ€ 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. â€œCarinaâ€ is an eclectic type of track, bringing forth styles and influences in a reggae, doo-wop, and island sound. Where â€œThe Hard Wayâ€ was a track that could easily be mistaken for a classic song, â€œCarinaâ€ 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 â€œThe Hard Wayâ€, 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, â€œThe Hard Wayâ€ should be an album that you pick up in the near future. With a number of single ready tracks, â€œThe Hard Wayâ€ 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
James Hunter â€“ The Hard Way / 2008 Hear / 12 Tracks / http://www.jameshuntermusic.com / http://www.hearmusic.com /