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Tuesday, 24 April 2012 21:12

CountryMusicIsLove Album Review: Lee Brice – ‘Hard 2 Love’

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Lee Brice’s sophomore album, Hard 2 Love, his shelves today but it has a very misleading title, as this album is anything but hard to love. The native of South Carolina definitely made an album with country music rooted at the heart of it, but it’s not twang and fiddles, it’s filled with southern rock and piano and an acoustic guitar. Many of the songs on the album are co-written by Brice and that comes as no surprise as he has definitely made his mark in Nashville as a quality songwriter. That ability, paired with his soul-filled voice, is what makes this album so great (his boyish good looks, and that smile, don’t hurt either).

 

Brice is most well-known for his ballads and he doesn’t disappoint on this album. The album’s lead single, ‘A Woman Like You,’ became his first No.1 single as an artist earlier this month. Heartwarming lyrics about trading in bachelorhood for the love of his life paired with an acoustic melody are ballad gold in country music. “See About A Girl” is a groovy tune with drawn out lyrics and a piano based melody. Brice co-wrote the song with Phillip Lamonds and Kyle Jacobs, and draws upon both females and males, as they weave the story of a man who is out having a night with the boys but stresses the importance of his girlfriend at home. “I know the beers here are cold/but I got something warm waiting for me at home,” he sings with a conviction that is convincing. It’s obvious that Brice also knows that love doesn’t come easy for everyone as he sings about a troubled relationship on “That Way Again.” “Girls, if your guy’s not appreciating you or giving you the things you need, you need to tell him. Maybe he’s oblivious or maybe he just doesn’t care. But either way, you’ve got to let him know,” he says. This song has a simple melody but its Brice’s passionate, soulful voice that really makes this song shine. He has an uncanny ability to really make a listener feel what he feels.

 

And if that song doesn’t resonate with you, then give to listen to “I Drive Your Truck” and hold back your tears. Consider it a dare. The struggle with sadness in this song is palpable. Regardless if you have ever had someone in the military or not, there is something about this song that is relatable to so many situations. The way his voice cracks on the ‘I’ in the third chorus of “I drive your truck/I roll every window down/And I burn up every back road in this town” will cut straight to your heart. Continuing with the theme of life lessons, “Life Off My Years,” has definite potential to be a single. “It says what I want to tell people about who I am–that maybe I’m a little reckless sometimes, but I’d rather take a couple of years off my life than take the life out of my years,” says Lee. It’s a great sing-a-long song with vivid lyrics that is sure to capture a crowd’s attention. “Don’t Believe Everything You Think” is a fun reminder to not overthink situations because you can never be exactly sure of what is going on in someone else’s mind. The song has a light, fun playfulness to it that really helps the flow of the album.

 

 

One of the best things about Hard 2 Love is that there are thirteen quality songs, not a few hits with some filler material. Although he’s known for the ballads, his up-tempo songs of partying and making memories are just as great. “Beer” has been a crowd favorite during his live shows, where he gets the fans to interact and shout out the most important part of the song, “Beer!”. The songs starts out with a slow country melody and then heads into an all-out rock anthem that is so much fun to jam out to. “Parking Lot Party” begins with country radio’s Big D and Bubba introducing the party track. This is a summertime tune that is sure to be heard blaring over speakers at amphitheaters nationwide as fans wait for gates to open. Co-written with Rhett Akins, Luke Laird, and newcomer Thomas Rhett, this song is infectious and is sure to have girls in sundresses and boots boogying, and guys sitting on tailgates admiring the view.

 

The album as a whole is what makes it so engaging. Every track has the qualities of being a hit single. There is something for everyone but it is still undeniably “Lee Brice.” His voice is so appealing and laden with raw emotion that is hard to not want to listen over and over again. From start to finish, it covers everything a listener could want – family, friends, love and life, not just the highs but also the lows. That is what makes country music, and Lee Brice has nailed it with his sophomore effort.

 

Other standout tracks:

Once again, I can’t pick a few. They’re all great. Once you’re done listening to his album a couple hundred times, go check him out live, because his personality on stage is sure to make you love him even more.

 

Rating: 5/5


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Last modified on Tuesday, 24 April 2012 21:29