Hedley - The Show Must Go
Release Date: November 17, 2009
Record Label: Universal Music
I'm going to make no bones about this, I love Hedley, always have, so this review will be more than extremely biased in many people's eyes. So obviously when I heard that the four piece were going to make a new album, I was over the moon. The finished product however is not what many fans expected.
The album kicks off with the dance-pop tune and first single "Cha-Ching", a song far different from the sound and feeling of much of the Hedley back catalogue, whilst lyrically, the band takes a jab at fame grabbing celebrities. Whilst it's a far cry from the power balladry and heart wrenching topics of previous works, it's an extremely catchy song that will have you singing along all day. A similar vibe is continued with the next track "Don't Talk To Strangers", where the use of auto-tune, while not really overused, feels entirely unnesessary when Hoggard's vocals are extremely capable of delivering.
The album swiftly moves along with "Scream", which moves further away from the dance side of things but is still laced with electronica and voice altering. The chorus is by far the highlight in the track. The tempo is shifted down for the start of the next track in "Hands Up", which starts with superb vocal delivery and country style acoustic guitar, which eventually builds up to an anthemic and uplifting chorus.
After a very materialistic and inauspicious start lyrically to the album, Hedley get back to what they do best which is writing songs from the heart. "Amazing" starts with a soft piano reminiscant of "For the Nights I Can't Remember" and hits just as hard. "Shelter" and 'Young & Stupid' show off Hoggard's vocal talents and one of the highlights of the album.
"Perfect" shows a different side to Hoggard's vocal delivery, using an unusually higher tone for the heart wrenching chorus, but yet again, is delivered extremely well. Claiming "I'm not perfect, but i keep trying, cause that's what I said I would do from the start, I'm not alive if im lonely." "The Sweater Song" is a very stripped-down acoustic song of conversations of two young lovers. "9 Shades of Red" switched the topic to completely about partying and the closer "Friends" is a perfect closer about graduation and wins and losses of high school friends.
Musically this album is is not very technical, as the guitars and bass are very simple, yet still delivered extremely well, as usual. Lyrically this album is extremely up and down. Amid the usual heartbreaks and sadness, it also shows alot more materialistic lyricism. In the end, Hedley have created a solid record, one that alot of fans will not necessarily like due to the departure and progression of the band. But for me this is still another solid Hedley record.