“Shows What You Know” is next and our hearts are about to be broken once again. A relationship in tatters and the after effects of such an event are on show here as blame and that one person is still hoping for redemption and reconciliation. Slow and moody, powerful and fragile, this song is a great number and the solo is beautiful here as well. “My Heart Won’t Fall Again” takes it from a different angle, this time it is from someone who is not taking another lie from a lover; it is a song which can be used for either gender as these are lessons which people of both sexes will sadly have experienced. It is a decent song which is played very well, but something is not clicking on this number and I cannot put my finger on it. But sometimes that can happen with any band. “Another Man’s Word” is seeking clemency from someone who is no longer believing what you are saying. It is a strong number that has heart break woven into each words and note that comes out of the speakers. You never know who is telling the truth on this one, you are hearing one side of a story but if you take it on face value it is a strong statement requesting redemption. It is a beautifully wrote song and singer Ty Taylor gives a heart wrenching performance on this song. With fast clapping and drumming, “Strike Your Light” is a dancing song if ever I heard one. It has that rhythm and blues shake going on and it brings energy and light to this album that was needed after all that emotional heartache (as beautiful as it is played, heavy going in places). It might be a bit throwaway, but it is still a good song.
“Before The Tear Drops” is a walking song, it has that pace to the number and it has blues coming out of every section of the song. It is another song about a relationship falling to pieces and seeking a second chance. The lyrics are great as is the music itself, but it does not quite gel in my head as much as it should do. Once again, it is nothing that the band is doing wrong but I cannot bring myself to love this song. “If You Loved Me” is a song which is demanding to know if you loved the person and whilst it has a sadness, there is also a feeling of aggression to the music as well. It is beautiful and very old school once again. It certainly grabs your attention and makes you take notices, whilst it also seems to be trying so hard as well to make an impression. Maybe a lighter touch was required on this one, but again it is just my opinion. “Another Baby” is the penultimate song of the album and whilst it starts off with a blues explosion, it is a defiant song about loving one person and going on the quest to find another lover. It is full of energy, a great riff and a fantastic chorus; another example of how good this band can be at times. Ending the album is “Soul Serenity” and it sounds as if a lot of Otis Redding has been brought into this number and that fine by me. It is gentle as a stream and as strong as a river washing over the audience. It might sound soft, but it has a powerful message behind it and it makes you pay attention to every last note ending this album on a high note.
I am won over here, it is a stunner of a record that have some brilliant old school R&B. There are a couple of number which are not a great as other songs on the record, but there is more than enough talent, charm and passion on here to more than make up for that. It can be played at any time of year and still make every night and day a party and a time for lovers as well. It is both classic and new at the same time which is a hard act to pull off; no matter which way you look at it you are hearing an album which will only get better with each passing year.
8 out of ten – Oh, now you have my attention and maybe my money, time and heart
Top track – Another Man’s Word
You can purchase 1 Hopeful Rd on Amazon here