The Hard Way - James Hunter
The Hard Way Image
Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 8 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: The fourth album for the British singer was produced by Liam Watson.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 8
  2. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. On one of this year's smoothest and best discs, Hunter makes The Hard Way go down so easy.
  2. Another almost note-perfect recreation of the same pre-Beatles R&B world, this follow-up smoothly mainstains the good work with songs that recall the likes of The Drifters and even early James brown. [July 2008, p.102]
  3. If you thought no one made albums like this any more, they don’t so enjoy The Hard Way.
  4. 80
    He calls his style 'slavishly copying,' we know it better as sweet soul. [July 2008, p.108]
  5. The album's highlight is the jazzy horn rave-up "Don't Do Me No Favours," where Hunter cackles, yelps, shouts and bellows about refusing to take handouts from a rich man. On cuts like these, Hunter proves he's more than just a retro-soul act--the guy's got fire in his gut.
  6. The Hard Way, his debut for Hear Music, is a tad tougher--the horns are more prominent and sharper, Hunter's guitar has more bite to it, and the rhythms cut deeper--and quicker; at times Hunter veers closer to soul-rock than he has in the past, but he's still working well within his favorite genre.
  7. As on past releases, he mostly celebrates the snap and polish of the sharkskin '60s. His songs crib so blatantly from that era that citing his influences--Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, Van Morrison--is almost redundant.

See all 8 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of
  2. Mixed: 0 out of
  3. Negative: 0 out of