And some of those concerns are assuaged, but some unfortunately came to fruition.
Perhaps the one exception to this is “Kiss Me Without Whiskey,” Ken Block’s one writing credit on the album. This is truly the oddest song on the album: lyrically, musically, structurally, it doesn’t fit at all. It doesn’t fit at all anywhere in Sister Hazel’s catalog. “Danger Is Real” is another song that feels very out of place.
Then for a lot of the album, there’s a lot more to like; there’s a lot more that’s closer to the Sister Hazel I’ve come to know and love over many years. Songs like “Almost Broken” are beautifully written and performed, and “Prettiest Girl at the Dance” almost feels like an actual contemporary country song – a really cool waltz number. The album closer, “Ten Candle Days” is another great song that really shows the true talent of this band.
Sister Hazel is a band that’s been together 20-plus years. They’ve never had one change in their lineup. They may not receive radio airplay anymore, but they have a loyal fanbase, and there’s no need for them to chase trends by “going country.” While most of this album avoids the worst of the traps of bands and artists that do that, there are a few songs on the album which are unnecessarily cliché.
Far from the worst the album could be, but far from the best the band has to offer. For my money, you can’t beat their career-defining Fortress and Chasing Daylight.
Rating as a country album: