We all know the power of first impressions. Well, my first impression of Hedley’s new album WILD LIFE is: Damn! These guys knows how to make an entrance! And that’s saying something considering I went into the album without any preconceptions. This Canadian quartet, headed by frontman Jacob Hoggard, a finalist on 2004’s season of Canadian Idol, is said to be influenced by Jimmy Eat World, but I detect some One Republic mixed in there as well. The pop-punk band’s newest album, WILD LIFE, while currently available on iTunes, is set for US release on May 19th. And boy, is it truly a wild ride from start to finish.
The first track, “Anything,” as I stated, was an intense introductory song. I’ll be honest that I wasn’t sure what I was expecting pressing play on this album, and “Anything” was an excellent way to get my attention. Kudos, Hedley. It was a unique combination of hip-hop tones and a fantastic amount of energy. Throwing in some profanities here and there, especially when it’s essentially a big middle finger to anyone who tries to hold you back – really, it just makes me fall in love with this song. It’s an amazing message to listeners no matter what you say about it, and it’s an incredibly fun beat. I tried to resist bobbing my head and grooving while I was listening… I did not win that battle.
Keeping things interesting, second song “Crazy For You” has what I would consider slight elements of disco and channels some Mika-like vocals. While I have no qualms with this song, fans who reviewed the album on iTunes weren’t exactly happy with it, claiming that the band has lost its original sound. Oh, the woes of the music industry. I guess you can’t please everyone.
“Headphones” and “I’ll Be With You” add more synth-type sounds to the songs. “I’ll Be With You” sounded like an old video game in the beginning and slightly bubble-gummy in regards to the overall tone, which is unfortunate, but I suppose it’s the “pop” in pop-punk.
Ballads in the form of “Pocket Full of Dreams” and “Wild Life” are wonderfully sung, and does add calming elements to WILD LIFE amidst the bombardment of various beats, but final track “All the Way” is the most successful of the kind on the album. It brings together the absorbing pulses throughout the album with Hoggard’s epic voice to give the album a last hurrah worth remembering.
Other notable songs on Hedley’s WILD LIFE that I enjoyed (though at this point, I really should just list the rest of them on this 11-track album), include “Heaven In Our Headlights” and “Got Love.” One thing’s for sure with Hedley is that they put incredible messages into their music. Even if you’re not a fan of the music itself, the lyrics are sure to uplift your spirit and inspire you regardless. And that right there is truly the real purpose of music, wouldn’t you agree?
You can purchase a CD (physical ones, yay!) and buy concert tickets here.
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