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Release Date: October 14, 2016
While Hardline may have introduced themselves as a side-project of Journey’s Neal Schon, they have certainly cemented themselves as much more than a side project over the years. Their latest album for Frontiers Records, Human Nature, is their most-polished record to date and it’s full of huge anthems with a positive vibe. It’s exactly what Rock fans need right now.
The big, dynamic anthems here are by far my favorites. “Trapped in Muddy Waters” sounds huge and the soloing? Damn! It’s got a big, stompy groove that you can’t help but dig into. “The World is Falling Down” is another great moment with strong substance. Told from the point of view of a man crying out to God while watching the world fall apart (sound familiar?), it’s gritty guitars and more aggressive vocals make it stand out from the pack on an album full of highlights. Of course, the giant Bon Jovi style opener, “Where Will We Go From Here,” is one of the coolest anthems I have heard in a longtime. It’s smooth guitars, hero-style soloing, and soaring vocals would have made this a hit in pretty much any other decade.
As with any album of this style the obligatory ballads rock too. In a scene full of mid-tempo ballads, Hardline take us back to the start with “Take You Home.” The song largely features a piano and vocal- naked and unafraid. Only capable musicians can make a song like this sound spectacular because you have to have tremendous talent and this song blows me away. It’s heartfelt and near perfect. It reminds me of a different time in all the best ways.
Everything about this album is super clean and I dig it. In 2016 there just aren’t that many albums that are guitar-based, radio-friendly hard rock bands that really soar. Add to that the fact that this isn’t a bunch of cheesy love songs, there’s some real meat here lyrically. If you like Bon Jovi, Tyketto, eighties Heart, Europe, or any kid of guitar hero music, then you need to own this. It’s fantastic!
Reviewed by mark1340