|Hartmann Home||Frontiers Records|
German rock singer Oliver Hartmann delivered one of the surprise packages of 2005, with a thoroughly enjoyable album of powerful and emotional melodic hard rock.|
Delivered with a passion and raw emotional edge that I hadn't heard for sometime, it was with great anticipation that I looked forward to his new release.
Home mirrors the sound of the debut, with a couple of twists among the set of songs that perhaps does not quite match the emotional intensity of the debut, but still manages to be very consistent and of unquestionably high standards.
So good was one song from Hartmann's debut, I named What If I 2005's Song Of The Year.
Home is a harder and grittier affair overall, but that doesn't stop the inclusion of another great uptempo melodic rocker to match the style of What If I. This time it kicks off the album. Coming Home To You would perhaps be better suited a few tracks into the album, as after the anthemic rocker is gone, the overall harder edge of the album comes to light and it seems as if the opening number was a little out of place in the scheme of things.
But, not to take away from Coming Home To You, as this is another absolute gem from Hartmann and another song that will rank highly come the end of the year.
As stated, the album is a slightly harder and heavier affair – at least it features a more pronounced guitar driven feel and it is track 2 – The Sun's Still Rising that kicks off the album proper.
The songs takes a few listens to get into properly and isn't helped by a track running order that could have been a little better thought out.
Look no further than track 3 - the big ballad My Everything Is You – a great song on it's own, but as placed doesn't make for a smooth running order of tracks, especially when Somewhere Someday and Just For You head back to the heavier feel of The Sun's Still Rising.
My Everything sees Hartman tackle the 'happy' ballad, which really wasn't the tone of the debut, but makes for a great change of pace. More familiar perhaps, is the angst filled I Don't Want To Know, which is another fine emotional track.
Higher Than Me is a contemporary rocker, while Why Do I has a breezier pop/rock feel and a great chorus.
I like the big uptempo feel good rock of Millionaire, which is something different from the band and Crying is a very soulful ballad.
Lay All Your Love On Me reminds me of the debut, but is presented here with nothing more than a lead vocal and acoustic guitar. It actually works out to be one of the highlights of the album due to the nature of the vocal and the songs strong chorus.
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