There’s not much middle ground with bands like Sister Hazel; you either love or hate their brand of Southern-flavored pop rock. But having sold two million albums during the course of their career, it’s clear that the band has enough followers who fall into the former category and Absolutely will enhance their reputation with that fan base even more.
Packed with trademark rockers and heartfelt ballads, Sister Hazel’s sixth full-length album doesn’t exactly reinvent the wheel, but then again, their fans come to expect nothing less. Songs like “Beautiful High,” “Mandolin Moon” and tear-jerking ballad “This Kind of Love” certainly won’t appeal to die-hard Radiohead fans, but for anyone expecting well-written radio rock, there’s plenty here to feast on. Bluesy rockers “Shame” and “Anyway” tick all the right boxes, while “Truth Is” recalls the band’s biggest hit, “All For You,” when they rode a wave of success inspired by Hootie and the Blowfish. The songwriting formula hasn’t changed much since then but there’s no denying the melodic attraction of the album’s standout track “Meet Me In The Memory.”
I doubt Absolutely will attract legions of new fans to the band, but the hordes that have prolonged Sister Hazel’s career some years after splitting with a major label will positively, absolutely love this record.
Sister Hazel: www.sisterhazel.com