Re: Hardline - Human Nature
Date: November 09, 2016 02:33PM
I'd been intending to post about "Human Nature" for awhile (thought Andrew said he was gonna do a review before taking his well deserved break). I've been guilty of being one of those fans who still wanted a " Double Eclipse 2", although it's been clear ever since the debut that repeating it wasn't what Johnny wanted to do. That aside, "Human Nature" is pretty damn impressive and unquestionably the second best Hardline album ever, for several reasons:
Johnny: it could be argued that his voice is the single most important element in Hardline, and he is in outstanding form here. Imo the guy has lost nothing over the years and this is a good as anything he's ever done.
Josh: his return is a major reason this is so good. There's still more keyboards on here in general than I'd like, but the guitar is finally back out front and rocking hard. Josh is all over this, and he's on fire throughout. Some of his best studio performances ever, and the rest of the band brings an energy to the proceedings that elevates it over the last couple albums as well.
The material: IMO this is their best collection of songs since the debut. Seems like they've integrated a bit of the best elements from all the previous hardline albums, and for the most part it works. Tracks like "Nobody's Fool" and "Running On Empty" do capture that Double Eclipse vibe. There's a couple of generic "euro rockers" that don't do much for me, but "Where The North Wind Blows", "Human Nature", Trapped In Muddy Waters", "In The Dead Of The Night", the ballad " Take You Home"... there's a lot of good stuff on here. I've ripped Mr. Del Vecchio in the past so I gotta give him credit when it's due- this time he and Johnny have done a great job overall, and his production work is strong as well.
Between this, the new Kansas and the new Tyketto, I've found myself spinning this one the most so far- not necessarily because it's better, because all three are very good- maybe I'm just finding it to be the most surprising of the three?