Many bands don’t survive long enough to release a sixth studio album. NEEDTOBREATHE makes good on this rare opportunity by giving us Hard Love, full of vibrancy, maturity, and musical excellence. Even though the band explores many new sounds and genres on this album, they make sure to keep enough of their signature rock sound with a twinge of southern soul to avoid alienating older fans.
The album begins with a dreamy vocal and synth sequence. The first single from the album, “Happiness,” includes organs and a catchy gospel choir chorus. “Great Night” is one of the strongest songs on the album with its shuffle beat, raw guitars, vintage vocal reverb, and screaming solos that create a nostalgic and powerful track.
Thematically, NEEDTOBREATHE offers a perspective on love that drips with life experience, revealing how hard yet meaningful it can be at times. The second single, “Money and Fame,” reflects on personal pitfalls with success, encouraging the younger generation to avoid similar mistakes. And despite the haunting synth sounds of “Hard Love,” it’s a song of encouragement for those who are mired in the messiness of a difficult relationship.
The songwriting is creative and the production of the album is impeccable, with each vocal reverb, drum sound, and guitar tone tweaked to perfection. This album will satisfy old and new fans alike. (Atlantic)